Sixers struggle down the stretch in loss to Pistons
Hollis Thompson tries to slow down Greg Monroe during the Sixers' 114-104 loss to the Pistons. (AP)
The Sixers knew their previous two games in which they suffered lopsided losses were not a true indication of the way they want to and usually do play.
They opened Friday’s matchup against Detroit with a 36-point first quarter and proceeded to keep coming at Detroit with speed and a mentality focused on getting in the paint.
The mentality stayed, but the shot-making disappeared.
The Sixers ended up suffering a 114-104 loss to drop their record to 12-24 on the season. The Pistons (15-22) snapped a six-game skid with the victory.
James Anderson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Nov. 29. He traded places with Hollis Thompson.
Tony Wroten returned to the rotation after missing the last two games with flu-like symptoms and a migraine headache.
Lavoy Allen was sidelined for the first time this season because of a calf injury.
Brandon Jennings made a three-pointer with 3:17 to play to give the Pistons their biggest lead of the game at 105-98.
The Pistons average 6.1 made threes per game. Jennings’ three-pointer was their 11th of the game against the Sixers.
Follow the leader
Michael Carter-Williams was coming off a career-high 33 points in the Sixers’ blowout loss to the Cavs on Tuesday.
Carter-Williams made seven of his first 10 shots before finishing 9 of 20 for 21 points.
Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 22 points. Spencer Hawes had his 12th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Josh Smith led the Pistons with 22 points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds, had seven assists, five blocks and four steals.
Andre Drummond finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds compared to his 31 and 19 in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Drummond also had six blocks on Friday.
Jennings contributed 19 points and six assists.
The Pistons came into Friday night’s game the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 14.4 per game. They had 62 total rebounds against the Sixers, including a season-high 25 at the offensive end.
The Sixers had 42 rebounds as a team.
Take a bow
Detroit buckled down defensively in the second half. After allowing the Sixers to shoot 54.2 percent in the first half, the Pistons held Brett Brown’s squad to 15 of 47 (31.9 percent) in the final two quarters.
The Sixers had nine turnovers through three quarters before giving the ball away seven times in the final frame.
Don’t look now but the once-struggling New York Knicks come to town on a three-game winning streak for Saturday night’s game.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler will miss the game with an upper-respiratory illness.
It remains to be seen if J.R Smith will be back in the New York rotation. Smith was benched during the Knicks’ win over the Miami Heat on Thursday after the league fined last season’s Sixth Man of the Year $50,000 for attempting to untie a second opponent’s sneaker prior to a free throw.
Smith is averaging 11.3 points per game this season, down from last year’s career high of 18.1.