76ers Notes

DENVER - Both the Nuggets and the Sixers were missing double-digit scorers Sunday night, although Carmelo Anthony's absence for Denver clearly created a more gaping hole.

Anthony, averaging 24 points, missed his third straight game after the death of his sister, while Lou Williams remained in Philadelphia to be present for the birth of his daughter.

Anthony's sister, Michelle, died of a medical condition Wednesday in Baltimore.

Williams, averaging 11.8 points, also is expected to miss Monday night's road game against the Golden State Warriors and return for Wednesday night's game in Phoenix against the Suns.

With Williams out, Sixers coach Doug Collins has spoken with rookie Evan Turner about "being more aggressive and getting on the boards" because he'd likely see more minutes, Collins said.

"I told him the other night, 'I don't care that you shot 2 for 11, but you played almost 30 minutes and you had no defensive rebounds' " against the Chicago Bulls, Collins said. "That's where I want him to start picking it up again."

After Turner began the season with a couple of solid scoring and rebounding games, his productivity has dipped along with his minutes.

"He's hard to figure out sometimes. He doesn't say a whole lot," Collins said. "I think everything right now, with him, is introspective. . . . He's had some ups and some downs, and I told him it's a nice time for him to be on the road and start moving this thing back in a positive direction."

Without Anthony, Denver coach George Karl started Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, and Nene.

Anthony's absence is "a big break for us," Sixers forward Thaddeus Young said.

Down a coach

The Sixers were also without assistant coach Brian James, whose father died Thursday. James traveled to Illinois for a funeral Tuesday.

The road swing

Sunday's game began the post-Christmas portion of the Sixers' eight-game road trip, which will continue against the Warriors, Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Hornets. - Kate Fagan