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76ers' defense shuts down Hornets

Feb 8, 2015 - 6:34 AM Philadelphia, PA ( - Robert Covington scored a game-high 22 points and the Philadelphia 76ers' defense shut down the Charlotte Hornets in the second half to earn an 89-81 win.

Hollis Thompson scored 18 off the bench for Philadelphia, while Luc Mbah a Moute and Nerlens Noel scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Despite 18 points and nine rebounds from Al Jefferson, the Hornets had their three-game winning streak halted. Gerald Henderson chipped in with 17 points and nine assists and Marvin Williams scored 13 off the bench.

"We had no juice to start the game," Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said. "We weren't ready to play. They played harder than we did and outworked us. That's why we lost."

A 22-5 run capped by a Henderson 3 left the 76ers down 16 with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the first half. The Hornets only led 48-42 at the break after the 76ers scored the last seven points of the quarter. Thompson started a run with a triple and Covington's floater after an offensive rebound ended the half.

Cody Zeller's dunk 38 seconds into the third quarter put the Hornets up by eight, but the 76ers' defense stifled Charlotte for the remainder of the quarter. The Hornets did not hit another shot from the floor until Jefferson's layup at the midway point and Henderson's layup with a minute left was their last field goal of the quarter.

While Philadelphia limited Charlotte to 3-of-17 shooting in the period, Covington rebounded from a poor first half. He scored 11 points in the quarter with three triples, and the 76ers took a 70-61 lead into the final quarter.

"The third quarter was just exceptional on both sides," said 76ers coach Brett Brown.

The Hornets got back on track early in the fourth, using an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to five points.

After a timeout, Philadelphia scored the next seven points, including five from Covington, to go back up 12. Charlotte occasionally pulled within seven the rest of the way, but the 76ers always answered at the other end.

Midway through the opening quarter, a 9-0 Hornets run put Charlotte up 19-13. Philadelphia, though, soon responded with an 8-0 run of its own, but Jason Maxiell hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to give the Hornets a 24-23 edge after 12 minutes of play.

Game Notes

Charlotte forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game with a hamstring injury ... Tim Frazier led the 76ers with eight assists as they were without starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams for a second straight game due to a foot injury ... Philadelphia shot 39.2 percent while the Hornets shot 34.5 percent.