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ScolaFan 11-29-2009 03:19 AM

76ers-Spurs Preview
76ers-Spurs Preview

The injury-riddled Philadelphia 76ers are in a horrible slump. Having to visit San Antonio may not be the ideal way for them to get on track.

Philadelphia has one road victory over the Spurs in nearly 23 years, and it will be trying to end a season-high five-game skid when it meets San Antonio on Sunday night.

The Sixers (5-11) opened with three wins in five games before starting this extended slump. They've dropped nine of 11, falling 100-86 at home to Atlanta on Friday night for their fifth straight defeat.

Philadelphia hasn't been playing with a full roster. Elton Brand missed his second consecutive game Friday with a sore right hamstring, guard Lou Williams is out eight weeks after having surgery on his fractured jaw Thursday, and forward Marreese Speights is sidelined until January with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

"We're a little banged up, but we have to fight through it," said forward Jason Smith, who started his second straight game in place of Brand and tied his career high with 14 points. "We'll get better. We have to work through this stretch."

Rookie Jrue Holiday started again in place of Williams and was 1 for 8 from the field in 25 minutes.

Four of the Sixers' opponents during the five-game skid have scored more than 100, and they allowed the Hawks to shoot 51.4 percent from the field - 9 of 18 from 3-point range.

"Our defense is suspect at times," reserve Jason Kapono said. "There are things we need to tighten up or we'll continue to get beat."

Philadelphia has continually been beaten in San Antonio, going 1-21 since the start of the 1986-87 season, with the lone win coming Jan. 3, 2004. The Spurs are 7-2 at home this season, averaging 107.3 points.


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