On Nov. 30, the Sixers won a season-high third game in a row for the third time in the earlyseason. The victory improved their record to 10-6, but they've proved unable to duplicate that success ever since.
In fact, they haven't won back-to-back games since that night in November.
"We have beaten some really good teams," Doug Collins said. "We have been competitive against some of the better teams in the league. We just have to do it every night. Monday is the midway point of the season -- 41 games -- this first half has flown by and if we are going to be a playoff team, at some point we have to string some wins together."
"That last win helped build our confidence," Holiday said. "And it let us know what we have to do to put ourselves in the best position to win. Obviously, it is not getting down 19 points again but just going out and knowing it starts with defense."
"It is a half-full mentality," Evan Turner said when asked about his team's attitude. "It is easy to point out what is wrong but sometimes you have to just work through the negatives and make the best of it and ride the wave."
On Friday, being down 17 points at the half was certainly not a positive, but winning 108-101 in overtime points to Turner's explanation of the team working through adversity.
"It had nothing to do with any adjustments, an X, an O," Collins said. "Our guys showed that if we want to get into guys physically. If they want to get after people they can. We can defend the pick-and-roll, we can do all the things we need to do and then our defense allows us to then play at a faster tempo."
The Sixers worked on playing at that faster pace during Sunday's practice, with the Spurs coming to town Monday. San Antonio beat the Sixers by 23 points earlier in the month. The Spurs average the third-most points in the NBA, shoot the second-highest percentage in the league (48.6), and fifth-highest from three (38.6).
"Obviously they have Hall of Fame players and a lot of experience which helps," Turner said. "They don't change what they do. They are who they are. They sell out one way. If you buy in one way as opposed to changing over and over, you will win and lose with what you have -- that's what they do and they win a lot because of it."
The Spurs arrive with 32 wins, which (headed into Sunday) is tied with the Thunder and Clippers the most in the NBA. Fourteen of those victories have come on the road.
"They are a veteran team," Holiday said. "They take their time; they do not get rushed easily. They know what they are doing and they have three all-stars. It is going to be tough. We have to try and get them out of things; pressure them and make them do things that they don't want to do."