The Philadelphia 76ers will be looking for their league-best 29th victory in 31 home games when they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
Philadelphia continues to be one of the most erratic teams in the league with a 28-2 record at home and 10-24 on the road.
The shorthanded Sixers, who are without Joel Embiid (shoulder) and Ben Simmons (back), just completed a 1-3 road trip with losses to the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles and Golden State Warriors with a win over the Sacramento Kings sprinkled in.
Embiid has missed the past five games, Simmons has been out for the past seven and guard Josh Richardson (concussion) has sat for three straight. Richardson’s status is unknown for Wednesday’s game.
Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Al Horford had 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists but the Sixers still couldn’t oust the depleted Warriors last Saturday, losing 118-114. But the Sixers will now be playing at home, where they’re nearly unbeatable.
“I mean, at this point in the season, when you see that there’s fewer and fewer games, you have to handle business,” Horford told Inquirer.com. “What’s most frustrating about this one (loss to Warriors) was that we were in control most of the game. It’s dangerous when you kind of let a team keep hanging and hanging.”
Beginning Wednesday, the Sixers will play five of their next six games at home, yet they’re still reeling from the distasteful loss to the Warriors, who have the league’s worst record.
“No one is going to punt it around and not treat it as a way to not admit stuff and get better,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “But it would’ve been great to win and then go home.”
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The struggling Pistons will be hoping to avoid a fifth consecutive loss. They’re only 9-23 on the road this season.
Detroit’s most recent loss was especially troubling, 96-84 to the Knicks in New York on Sunday. The Pistons missed 15 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter.
“It was a one-point game going into the fourth quarter and we just couldn’t get anything going,” Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said. “The ball just stuck and everybody that caught it, held it, and you’re not going to produce very many points doing that.”
Christian Wood, a former Sixer, led the Pistons with 22 points and eight rebounds while Bruce Brown scored 16 points. With a season-worst 13 points in the fourth quarter, the Pistons’ skid was extended. Overall, they have dropped 11 of 12 since the All-Star break.
Like the Sixers, the Pistons have been besieged by injuries this season. The latest player afflicted is John Henson, who left in the fourth quarter against the Knicks with a sore left ankle.
Blake Griffin is out for the season with a knee injury and Andre Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month.
“It changed the whole outlook,” Casey told the Detroit News. “But it’s the direction we have to go — to retool, to rebuild, to develop the young guys. It’s not fun. It’s painful. It’s stressful. As a coach, you want to go out there and win every game. But at the end of the night, after you get the frustration out of your system, reality sets in and you understand what you’re fighting with.”