Sixers-Kings: What you need to know

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Sixers-Kings: What you need to know

Sixers vs. Kings – 7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network
Wells Fargo Center

Records
Sixers: 19-26 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, ninth in Eastern Conference)
Kings: 17-30 (Fourth in Pacific Division, 13th in Western Conference)

Line
Sixers minus-6

Previous games
The Sixers are looking to put together a pair of wins for the first time since Nov. 30. Last time out they held off the Washington Wizards, 92-84, thanks to strong showings up and down the roster.

Though the Sixers haven’t won back-to-back games in nine attempts, they have won two out of the last three and three out of the last six.

The Kings play the fourth game of a six-game road trip on Friday night, following a 99-81 loss in Boston on Wednesday night. Though they are 1-2 on the trip, the Kings have lost four out of their last five.

Last meeting
Likely headed into their final game as the Sacramento Kings in Philadelphia, this will be the first meeting between the clubs this season. Last Jan. 10, the Sixers won their only meeting against the Kings, 112-85. Elton Brand led the Sixers with 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting to go with 10 boards. The Sixers also got 53 points off the bench with Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thad Young combining for 41.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Who's hot
Thad Young has scored in double figures in his last nine games and has reached at least 10 points in 42 of 45 games this season. Young also has played at least 30 minutes in the last 10 games.

Nick Young has hit at least one three-pointer in his last seven games and is shooting 40 percent (14 for 35) from three-point range over that span.

Jrue Holiday has averaged 24.7 points over his last three games. He also is shooting 53 percent (35 for 66) from the field over that span.

For the Kings, Cousins has six double-doubles in his last 10 games, averaging 17.2 points and 10 rebounds over that stretch. Chester, Pa. native Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 19 points and 11 boards in Wednesday night’s loss in Boston.

Probable starters
Sixers (last 10 games)
Jrue Holiday (22.5 ppg, 8.8 apg)
Nick Young (13.2 ppg, 15 three-pointers)
Spencer Hawes (10.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Evan Turner (14.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Thad Young (15.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg)

Kings (last 10 games)
John Salmons (9.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
Jason Thompson (6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
DeMarcus Cousins (17.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg)
Isaiah Thomas (10.5 ppg, 4.4 apg)
Tyreke Evans (15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Injuries
Jason Richardson (left knee synovitis) is out.

Andrew Bynum (bilateral knee bone bruises) is out.

Damien Wilkins missed Wednesday’s game and Thursday’s practice while attending to personal matters.

Ex-Sixer Salmons missed Wednesday’s game in Boston with a stomach virus.

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores career-high 43 points in Raptors' win

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores career-high 43 points in Raptors' win

TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 107-97 on Friday night.

DeRozan shot 15 of 28 from the floor as he surpassed his 42-point effort against the Houston Rockets on March 30, 2015, helping the Raptors overcome the absence of fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry. Lowry sat out with a right wrist injury.

Serge Ibaka, acquired by trade from the Orlando Magic last week, scored 15 points in his debut, while fellow newcomer P.J. Tucker, picked up from the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, had a game-high 10 rebounds and nine points in his first game for his new team.

Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston, which also got 19 points each from Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart (see full recap).

Westbrook triple-double lifts Thunder over Lakers
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 17 points in his 28th triple-double of the season, and his new teammates fit in seamlessly as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-93 on Friday night.

Westbrook also had 18 rebounds and 17 assists for the 65th triple-double of his career.

It was the first game for new Thunder players Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, acquired Thursday in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. Gibson scored 12 points and McDermott added eight, even though they arrived Thursday night and weren't even available for shootaround on Friday.

Alex Abrines and Andre Roberson each set a career high with 19 points, and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.

D'Angelo Russell scored 29 for the Lakers (see full recap).

Pacers beat Grizzlies to snap six-game skid
INDIANAPOLIS -- CJ Miles made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, Paul George had nine points and nine rebounds after remaining with Indiana following the trade deadline, and the Pacers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 102-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Monta Ellis finished with 16 points, Myles Turner scored 12, and Lavoy Allen, Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young each added 10 for the Pacers.

The Pacers outscored the Grizzlies 64-42 across the middle two quarters and never relinquished their lead, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half. The Grizzlies finished the game shooting 41 percent from the floor (35 for 84).

Troy Daniels had 13 points for Memphis and Marc Gasol scored 12. Indiana outrebounded Memphis 50-39 and scored 29 points off 17 Grizzlies turnovers (see full recap).

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

BOX SCORE

For as much as the Sixers’ bigs are talked about, Richaun Holmes often is left out of the conversation. 

He’s not the centerpiece of the team like Joel Embiid nor was he heavily involved in trade talks like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. He is the backup center who bides his time on the bench and quietly stays ready when he gets the nod.

And on Friday, he was the standout player in the Sixers’ 120-112 win over the Wizards (see Instant Replay)

“He’s been sort of the person that people forget about because of the logjam of five men,” Brett Brown said. “We all sort of think, ‘Well, he should just accept it because he’s behind Joel and Nerlens and Jahlil. Good ol’ Richaun. Go to the D-League and it’s OK.’ And that doesn’t work. He’s a pro, he’s competitive. He’s handled it. He’s really been a wonderful teammate.”

Holmes was bumped up in the rotation following the trade of Noel to the Mavs. He moved into the second-unit role while Okafor started in place of the injured Embiid. 

Holmes recorded his first double-double with 12 points (6 for 9 from the field) and 10 rebounds (three offensive). He also blocked a career-high five shots, tying Embiid for the most by a Sixer this season. The second-year big man put together this impressive performance in 26 minutes off the bench. 

“Just play hard,” Holmes said of his approach. “Just go out there, show what you’ve been working on, play hard every second you’re out there. That’s the motto I’ve got.”

Holmes is averaging 16.1 minutes and has appeared in just 32 of the Sixers’ 57 games. This season he also spent time with the Delaware 87ers of the Development League to get playing time. Holmes embraced an opportunity similar to Friday’s a month ago when he scored 18 points in as many minutes against the Clippers. 

“I try to approach every game this season the same way, whether everybody was playing or people were hurt,” Holmes said. “Prepare like I’m going to play 30 minutes a game. I think having that mindset helped me to stay ready at all times and be aggressive when I had a chance.”

Brown did not rule out the possibility that Holmes could start at some point if he continues this production. The Sixers are limiting Okafor to 20 to 24 minutes per game, according to Brown. That, combined with Embiid’s injury, could lend itself to an increased role for Holmes. 

“I think in that environment, it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for Richaun to get a start from time to time,” Brown said. 

Even if he remains on the second unit, Holmes proved he can provide a spark off the bench. Dario Saric noted how Holmes’ impact on both ends of the floor bolsters the frontcourt in addition to a more offensively-minded Okafor (11 points, two rebounds). 

“I think he played unbelievably good in both ways,” Saric said. “Everybody knows he’s an elite guy finishing around the rim, and he stepped in Nerlens’ place, he replaced him unbelievably good. I hope he will get the same minutes for the next game because we have Jahlil, who is more like a post-up player, who likes more to score from the low-post block, and we for sure need some guy like Richaun who will play in both ways." 

Perhaps the person least surprised by Holmes' game was Holmes himself. It was the result he puts in long hours to produce.

“It’s all about the grind,” he said. “All about keep working, keep trying to move up, keep trying to get better every second and it’ll pay off.”