January 4 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Something about Doug Collins’ demeanor suggested that he wasn’t going to micromanage this game.
He wasn’t going to call a half dozen time-outs, he wasn’t going to wave his point guard over after every possession and bark into his ear, and he wasn’t going to pace the sideline like his heart was beating out of his chest.
Although it probably was.
His 76ers, in the final hours of a two-week road trip, would either find a way to beat the New Orleans Hornets or they wouldn’t.
On Monday night at the New Orleans Arena, it was the latter.
The Hornets led by double digits in the fourth quarter, holding on for an 84-77 victory.
The Sixers dropped to 13-21. The Hornets, led by David West’s 17 points and eight rebounds, improved to 21-14.
The Sixers ended their road trip, which spanned 16 days and included eight games, with a record of 3-5.
With 7 minutes, 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter, on a 10-foot jump shot by former Sixer Willie Green, the Hornets took a 75-62 lead. Collins did not call a time-out, he did not point for Jrue Holiday to cross half-court, jump-stop, and signal to the referee.
He let them play, even sending forward Jason Kapono, who hadn’t played since Dec. 3, into the game with 6:36 remaining. Kapono’s three-pointer with 4:27 on the clock sparked a burst that brought the game to one possession, 80-77, with 39.7 seconds left, but a driving, scoop layup by Hornets all-star Chris Paul effectively ended the threat on the ensuing possession.
The Sixers kept going to Kapono, but he couldn’t repeat the magic.
“We just were playing uphill the whole night,” Collins said. “Last game of the trip, I thought our guys did everything they could, and we looked up and we fought ourselves back into a one-possession game.”
The Sixers started the game 11 for 22 from the field and finished 30 for 88.
“We went to our bench, what I thought was going to be a real key for us, but our bench was 8 for 40, I think,” Collins said.
The bench was exactly 8 for 40.
With 3:27 left in the first half, the Sixers were ahead by 40-31 and looked as if they might cruise to an important road victory.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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