INDIANAPOLIS — Perhaps it’s a good thing for the 76ers that their next two games are at the Wells Fargo Center.
They’ll hope to take advantage of playing in front of sellout crowds Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets and Friday against the Chicago Bulls before embarking on a three-game road trip.
No one would fault them for cringing over what should be a painless visit to the New York Knicks on Saturday, the Nets on Monday, and Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22.
By now, it’s obvious that the Sixers are totally opposite in their performance at home than on the road. They boast an 18-2 home record but have lost six straight games on the road, where they’re 7-14.
Poor three-point shooting has been the main reason for their struggles away from Philly. The Sixers made just 6 of 33 three-pointers (18.2%) in Monday’s 101-95 loss at the Indiana Pacers. They shot a combined 47-of-185 (25.4%) during their six-game road skid.
To put that in perspective, the Atlanta Hawks have the league’s worst three-point shooting percentage (31.6) heading into their Tuesday contest against the Phoenix Suns.
And, in their last two road games — Monday in Indiana and Saturday at the Dallas Mavericks — the Sixers struggled in the second half.
“I thought in the third quarter we let them get too many open looks for threes,” Tobias Harris said Monday of Sixers blowing an 11-point over the Pacers with 5 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third quarter. “In the second half, they just got in a great rhythm and made a run and made a lot of open shots.”
Putting the Pacers (25-15) at the foul line also contributed to the teams heading into the fourth quarter tied at 69. Indiana shot 45% from the field and made 8 of 9 foul shots in the third quarter.
But a lack of ball movement and miscues doomed the Sixers down the stretch. After turning the ball over just four times in the first half, the Sixers had nine after intermission.
Josh Richardson scored 17 of his 23 points in the final quarter on 6-for-9 shooting. However, he was just one of three players to score in the quarter as the Sixers managed just 17 shots while turning the ball over seven times.
Reserve point guard Raul Neto scored all 7 of his points, including a three and two free throws, during a 3:37 stretch in the quarter. It was his only action of the game. Harris scored just two of his 15 points in the quarter, taking only two shots.
Ben Simmons (0-for-2) and Matisse Thybulle (0-for-2) were the only other Sixers with shot attempts in the fourth.
The stagnant team was held scoreless in the final 2:02 of the game, missing four shots and committing three turnovers during that stretch.
“In the fourth quarter, we’ve got to find a little bit more movement than what we are doing,” Harris said. "Executing. We got to figure out where we want to get to and how we want to get a bucket, to get a good shot up.
“So I think we’ve just got to, like Ben [Simmons] said, go back to the drawing board and watch some film and hold our head high and be ready for the next game.”
The next game is at home against a Nets team that will play its second game in as many nights. It’s a Brooklyn team that is headed into Tuesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz with an 18-20 record and a two-game winning streak after losing its previous seven.
Next will be the struggling Bulls (14-27), losers of seven of their last eight games.