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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Monday, February 17, 2014

Brett Brown wants Sixers 'to come back and finish strong the final third of the year'

(Associated Press)

While the NBA was on its All-Star break, 76ers coach Brett Brown went home. He said he attended three basketball games for his son, Sam. Then he went swimming with his daughter, Laura, and hung out with his other daughter, Julia.

With so much travel during the season, it’s possible his family – and maybe even his wife – forgot what Brown looked like.

“She may have hoped to,” Brown said, grinning. “I was glad to go home and just recharge and watch (my son’s) games, for sure, but I want to come back and finish strong the final third of the year.”

The Sixers (15-39) will have their hands full in fulfilling that task. They’ve lost 18 of their last 21 games, including eight in a row, heading into Tuesday’s game against visiting Cleveland. The final 28 games of their schedule, particularly if they’re to trade away Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes or Thaddeus Young at the deadline, could be tough to watch.

But maybe not as tough as their last three games prior to the break. Among them were back-to-back losses, at Los Angeles and at Golden State, by a combined 88 points, followed by a loss to fellow lottery team Utah. Brown said tired legs might have contributed to those defeats.

At Monday’s practice, Brown admired his players’ spirits, which “are good, despite our record.” When asked if their tepid defense would be something on which his players focus down the stretch, he said “you’d have to.”

“When you see them (rested) like this, you realize just how unrested they were when I left them,” Brown said. “When we had lost some games as we did, combined with just being down, it trickles into your mind as well as your body, and the accumulation of both made for some painful basketball. But we’re back, the guys are fantastic and we’re ready to finish the season with dignity, with our heads high and playing good basketball.”

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