January 15, 2015

There may be a paucity of NBA-caliber players on the court Tuesday night in Philadelphia, but the 76ers won't complain if they avoid league infamy.

They stand to have a decent shot at finally notching their 10th victory if they can end their 12-game slide while facing the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans.

It's more notable who isn't available for these teams than who is. The Pelicans' lengthy injury list includes Anthony Davis (left knee), Ryan Anderson (sports hernia), Tyreke Evans (right knee), Eric Gordon (fractured right ring finger), Jrue Holiday (right inferior orbital wall fracture) and Norris Cole (lower back).

Philadelphia (9-68) is without rookie Jahlil Okafor because of a knee injury while Nerlens Noel has missed six straight games with a right knee contusion and Richaun Holmes four in a row with a right Achilles tendon strain. In addition, Hollis Thompson was a late scratch for Saturday's 115-102 defeat to Indiana with an upper-respiratory infection.

There's plenty on the line for the 76ers, who need one victory in their last five games to avoid matching the 1972-73 Philadelphia club for the worst full-season record in NBA history.

They showed plenty of fight against the playoff-contending Pacers, leading by two with 4:38 left before being outscored 19-4. Philadelphia had 17 turnovers after averaging 11 in its previous five games; it averages 16.6 for the Eastern Conference's worst mark.

"The turnovers got the better of us," coach Brett Brown said. "I think we've been doing a good job lately caring for the ball."

Isaiah Canaan scored 24 and Jerami Grant added 20 for Philadelphia in the opener of a four-game homestand that could be promising. The 76ers host two more non-playoff teams in New York and Milwaukee in their quest to avoid ignominy.

''Perhaps it gets a little deflating, but our guys are still there," Brown said. ''We will see everybody soon, and we will play hard like we did tonight, when we see New Orleans."

One player who may have extra incentive is guard Ish Smith, who was traded by the Pelicans (29-47) to the Sixers on Dec. 24. He scored 12 in Philadelphia's 121-114 loss at New Orleans on Feb. 19.

The Pelicans also have plenty of fringe NBA players trying to make a name for themselves down the stretch. Point guard Tim Frazier had career highs of 19 points and 13 assists in Sunday's 106-87 win at Brooklyn.

Frazier, who spent part of last season as a rookie with the Sixers, is averaging 13.6 points in 10 games with New Orleans.

''I think Tim Frazier has done a really good job,'' coach Alvin Gentry said. ''That's a tough position to play, but I think he's been really good at what he's done.''

The Pelicans seek their first three-game win streak since Jan. 19-23. Luke Babbitt has totaled 43 points in the last two games.

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