Holiday is the hero for 76ers

March 18, 2013 - 4:27:15 am

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania: Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and added 12 assists while centre Spencer Hawes had a rare starring role as the Philadelphia 76ers beat Indiana 98-91 in an NBA game yesterday.

The 76ers began the fourth quarter with a 19-4 run and never trailed again in improving to 25-40, still last in the Atlantic division, while the Central division-leading Pacers fell to 40-26 with their third loss in four games. 

Hawes, a sixth-year NBA centre, scored 18 points and added eight assists as well as contributing career highs of 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

Indiana’s Roy Hibbert scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Paul George contributed 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists and David West added 18 points for the Pacers.

Indiana led 72-71 entering the fourth quarter but the 76ers opened the final period with their sizzling run to take the largest lead either team had enjoyed to that point at 90-76 on an Evan Turner layup.

The Pacers missed their first seven shots from the field in the fourth quarter before West hit a jumper to snap the drought. In all, Indiana went 1-for-9 with four turnovers in the first six minutes of the fourth period.

George sank a 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to pull Indiana within 96-91 but Turner and Thaddeus Young each sank 1-of-2 free throws to seal Philadelphia’s victory.

Meanwhile, Paul Pierce had 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, and Boston won its 11th straight at home — a 105-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Avery Bradley scored 13 and Courtney Lee had 12 points and five assists as the Celtics beat the Bobcats for the first time in three meetings this season. 

Two of the Bobcats’ NBA-low 14 wins came against the Celtics, including a 100-74 blowout in Charlotte yesterday.

Kevin Garnett sat out with a strained left thigh muscle, but the Celtics put all five starters were in double figures.

Jannero Pargo led Charlotte with 18 points. Gerald Henderson had 16 points, Kemba Walker scored 14 and Josh McRoberts pulled down 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost for the 12th time in 13 games. 

Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili added 14 points and 10 assists, Nando De Colo had 11 points and Tiago Splitter had 10 for San Antonio (51-16), which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. Wayne Ellington had 21 points and fellow reserve Marreese Speights added 19 for Cleveland (22-44). Shaun Livingston had 16 points, and Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters added 15 apiece. 

Martell Webster scored a career-high 34 points and became Washington’s first 30-point scorer this season. John Wall added 17 points and 11 assists as Washington won its fourth straight at home. 

Emeka Okafor added 17 points and 10 rebounds as Washington snapped a 10-game losing streak to Phoenix, dating to 2006.

Michael Beasley scored 21 points and Goran Dragic added 12 points and 11 assists as the Suns lost their fourth straight and fell into last place in the Western Conference. 

LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 12 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Detroit Pistons their eighth straight loss with a victory.