D.J. Augustin scored a career-high 31 points, including 25 in the first half, leading the Charlotte Bobcats to a 100-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
One night removed from a monumental loss against the Orlando Magic, the Sixers came out relatively strong against the Bobcats, shooting 57 percent from the floor in the first quarter.
But Charlotte was just as hot in the first half, led by Augustin, who was 10-for-11 from the field before intermission.
The Bobcats were never able to pull away from the Sixers, due in large part to the play of Andre Iguodala. For what it's worth, Iguodala played the facilitator role rather well, scoring 19 points and tallying 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
The Sixers were down 6 points at the half, and trailed by as many as 8 in the 4th quarter, but powered back to take a 89-88 lead with 3:23 to go. Thaddeus Young led the charge, scoring 15 of his team-high 21 points in the decisive final period.
However, it was Gerald Henderson's turn to wear the black hat on Thursday night as he scored on three straight possessions with less than 2 minutes to go to lead the Bobcats to the win.
Jrue Holiday finished with 13 points, marking his 14th-straight game in double-figures - a career-best stretch. Elton Brand had his usual blue collar effort with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Unfortunately, Brand was the only Sixers' big that played well. Bobcats' reserve center Nazr Mohammed had his way around the basket, scoring 15 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in only 20 minutes of work. The 76ers' lack of size hurt them once again as Charlotte scored 48 points in the paint, 36 of those coming in the first half.
Despite the outcome, the Sixers won the season series with the Bobcats 2 games to 1. And in a year where some of the losses have bordered on the ridiculous, Thursday's defeat at the hands of the Bobcats was relatively tame. However, the loss that came a mere 24 hours earlier easily trumped all that came before it.
With Dwight Howard having fouled out of the game moments earlier, the Sixers were leading the Orlando Magic 90-86 with 21 seconds to go. They then proceeded to do the unthinkable, fouling Jason Richardson as he was shooting a 3-pointer.
Much to no one's surprise, the basket was good, and the Sixers paid the ultimate price for committing one of basketball's cardinal sins by giving up the rare 4-point play.
With the score tied at 90, the Sixers still had ample opportunity to win the game in regulation, but settled for a fall-away 23-footer from Lou Williams that danced around the rim before trickling off.
Whoever said lightning doesn't strike twice hasn't watched the Sixers this season. In overtime, they again fouled a jump shooter - this time, J.J. Redick - who was in the midst of shooting a 3. The free throw at the end of that 4-point play was the deciding margin in the Magic's 99-98 victory.
It was the type of loss that ages a coach several years in a single night. A loss that usually results in an extra-long practice the following day.
But the world of the NBA, where sets of back-to-back games are around every corner, there is no rest for the defeated. And truth be told, the Sixers put up a decent effort in Charlotte, given the circumstances of the prior evening.
But that still is no solace to a team that is now 17-25, perilously close to falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"It's always disappointing when you lose," said Collins following the loss to Charlotte. He then repeated that statement - the pain of the Orlando defeat clearly still lingering in his mind.