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- Sixers coach Doug Collins said he hopes Jrue Holliday’s absence is short-term. The team’s leading scorer (18.4) and creator (8.9 assists) will miss tonight’s game with a sprained left foot. “We’re going to err on the side of caution,” Collins said. “I don’t want him out there playing on one foot. … I hope it’s only going to be a few days.”
- With Royal Ivey (strep throat) also out, 6-foot-7 wing Evan Turner will bring the ball up and initiate the offense. The Sixers, already offensively challenged (26th in the league at 92.6 points per game), will have major adjustments to make. “We’ve got to be able to get into our offense,” Collins said. “I would expect the Pacers to pressure us. We lost our best penetrator, a guy who creates shots, so we really have to move the ball. We’re a team that struggles to score the ball anyway, so we’ll need other guys to pick up the slack.”
- With Turner moving to the point, Nick Young will start at small forward. Kwame Brown will start at center, replacing Lavoy Allen, as the Sixers head into a stretch of games against more physical big men including Indiana’s 7-2 Roy Hibbert. “I’d like his weight to get down,” said Collins, “But this is why we got him. These next few games we need a big, strong defender.”
- Because of the skewed matchups, the Pacers are wary of tonight’s game. “I don’t know if they’re going to be easier to guard or not,” said coach Frank Vogel. “They’ll be different to guard.” George Hill will defend Turner, with Paul George drawing Young.
- The Pacers will be without shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who sustained a sprained left ankle Wednesday against Cleveland. Gerald Green will start in his place. Vogel said Stephenson could return as soon as Saturday’s game in Detroit.
- Conrad Brunner