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Turner leads Sixers to win over slumping Nuggets

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The Canadian Press
1/2/2014 12:54:34 AM
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DENVER -- Up until a few days ago, the Philadelphia 76ers just couldn't find a way to win on the road.

Suddenly, they can't be beaten.

All right, so it's only two road wins. But they hadn't won back-to-back games -- let alone two away from home -- since the starting the season with three wins.

Evan Turner scored 23 points and Thaddeus Young added 17, helping the 76ers knock off the slumping Denver Nuggets 114-102 on Wednesday night.

"We're beginning to show some signs of what Coach is trying to instil in us," Young said.

Namely, to share the ball. That's been coach Brett Brown's primary mantra, which was on display to start the new year.

The Sixers had seven different players score in double figures en route to their second straight win away from home. Philadelphia halted a 13-game road losing streak in Los Angeles against the Lakers over the weekend.

"Really want to hop on the wagon and keep this going," Turner said. "We're reaping the benefits of our hard work."

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are spiraling downward, dropping their eighth game in a row. It's the team's longest skid since losing the final eight games of the 2002-03 season.

Denver also has lost some of its Mile High mystique under first-year coach Brian Shaw, losing a fifth straight at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets were a franchise-best 38-3 at home last season.

"I feel like we have reached rock bottom," said J.J. Hickson, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds. "We've lost to some pretty bad teams."

This game was ultimately decided in the second quarter, when the Sixers put together a 44-26 period to turn a close game into runaway. Ball movement was the biggest thing as each of the starters scored at least five points in that pivotal surge.

It was the most points for the Sixers in a quarter since Feb. 20, 1996, at Orlando when they also had 44.

"We just rode the wave and took it into the second half," Turner said.

Sure did.

Stretching their lead to as many as 16 early in the fourth quarter, the Sixers simply cruised from there while improving to 3-13 on the road, which remains one of the worst marks in the league.

There was a brief moment when the game could have changed course, when Young was called for a clear path violation after a steal by Ty Lawson with 4:51 remaining. The speedy Nuggets point guard made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 10-point game and they also had the ball out of bounds. But Wilson Chandler's 3-point attempt clanged off the rim.

Turner ended any lingering suspense by hitting a turnaround jumper with 3:26 remaining.

"Everybody knows exactly what they need to do to go out there and help this team win games," Young said.

Randy Foye was back in Denver's starting lineup after surrendering his spot to Jordan Hamilton the last three games. Foye has been struggling with his shot, his defence and not "making plays for his teammates," Shaw explained before the game. Foye wound up with 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting.

Shaw's reserves have struggled lately, too, which was why he shook up his rotation against the Sixers. Quincy Miller was the first player off the bench, not Hamilton. Evan Fournier and Nate Robinson also received playing time ahead of Andre Miller, who didn't get into the game.

According to the Nuggets, this was the first "Did not play -- coach's decision" of Miller's career and ended a streak of 239 straight games.

Things got so bad that as the Nuggets trudged off the court at intermission, the crowd began to boo. Then again, the fans are not accustomed to losing at home.

Shaw understands the frustration. He feels the same way, too.

"It's not even a slump right now, it's worse than a slump," Shaw said. "Players are coming in and having their way with us. We're not making them uncomfortable, they're shooting the ball with a high percentage from the 3-point line, we're giving up offensive rebounds. We're allowing penetration.

"Anyway we can get beat, we're getting beat."

NOTES: The 68 first-half points were a season high for Philadelphia. ... Young had his streak of scoring 25 or more halted at four games. ... Philly G Michael Carter-Williams had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. ... Sixers C Spencer Hawes (first quarter) and Nuggets F Kenneth Faried (third quarter) received technical fouls. ... Andre Miller has missed seven games in his 15-year career, the team said.

Evan Turner (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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