Sixers center Spencer Hawes is out tonight with a strained left Achilles. Rookie Nikola Vucevic will make his fifth start of the season tonight. The Sixers defense has been the key to their success in the first 26 games of the season. They are second in the NBA in points allowed per game at 87.2 ppg and they are allowing opponents to shoot just 42% from the field. The 42% is the lowest opponents shooting percentage through 26 games since 2000-2001 when that team reached the NBA Finals. The Sixers are 0-5 win allowing an opponent to score more than 100 points in a game this season. Hopefully for the Sixers the game ends in regulation. So far this season the Sixers are 0-2 and were 2-8 in overtime last season. The Sixers tough streak comes to an end tonight as they take on the Cavaliers tomorrow in Cleveland and the Bobcats in Charlotte on Monday.
As for the Clippers, they were dealt a major blow earlier this week as Chauncey Billups ruptured his Achilles tendon against Orlando. Billups’ backup is a familiar name in the Philadelphia area. Randy Foye, the former Villanova stand out, will replace Billups in the starting lineup. In his first start replacing Billups, Foye scored 15 points against Cleveland which is exactly how many points Billups was averaging. Over their last nine meetings with the Sixers, the Clippers have only eclipsed 100 points twice and both times were during Eddie Jordan’s one year as head coach in 2009-2010. The Sixers have won three of the past four season series. The Clippers managed to beat the Sixers in a season series while they were coached by Jordan. The Clippers have lost their last two games against the Sixers. Building off of what San Antonio exploited on Wednesday, the Clippers will look to run guard Chris Paul off of the pick-and-roll with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Tipoff tonight is at 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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