In the NBA, there often is little difference between starters and reserves. It can be argued that when a player enters a game matters far less than how long he stays on the floor.

So James Anderson didn't make a big deal out of it when he was removed from the 76ers' starting lineup two games ago.

"It's the same," the shooting guard said.

Actually, there has been a major difference. Anderson has elevated his play in a reserve role in the last two games, against Detroit and Orlando.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder made 4 of 8 three-pointers while averaging 15 points. Anderson's highlight was a 19-point performance in Tuesday's 126-125 double-overtime victory over the Magic.

He averaged eight points and made just 2 of 19 three-pointers in his last three games as a starter.

Anderson has not tweaked his shooting technique or spent extended time after practice.

"I was going to keep shooting whether I was going to hit them or not," said Anderson, who is averaging 10.4 points and shooting 33.7 percent on three-pointers this season. "I am doing the same thing, just trying to have a high motor, coming off the bench and make plays with the second group.

"It's nothing different."

Hollis Thompson was inserted into the starting lineup instead of Anderson to provide a defensive presence.

But that was just one of the reasons.

The Sixers "wanted to let James come in and play with [sixth man] Tony [Wroten] and have more freedom to find a way to score," coach Brett Brown said.

Eight of Anderson's 19 points against the Magic came in the overtimes. He iced the game with a foul shot that gave the Sixers a four-point lead with 1.2 seconds left.

"There was no punishment bringing him off the bench," Brown said. "Everyone must understand that."

The coach said it was simply a way to identify a different role for Anderson.

"I think when people don't start, everyone seems to wonder," Brown said. "We didn't start Manu Ginobili for years [when Brown was an assistant in San Antonio]. When they start not ending games, then you should be concerned."