PHILADELPHIA — Andrew Bynum has no idea if he will play for the Philadelphia 76ers this season.
Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday are playing the role of go-to scorers just fine in his absence.
Turner had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Holiday scored 25 points and the Sixers beat the Detroit Pistons 104-97 on Monday night.
Turner hit the winning shot in the final seconds of overtime on Friday against Boston. Holiday took his turn with a 12-point fourth quarter against the Pistons. Holiday thrived off the pick-and-roll all game and buried a pair of pull-up jumpers in the final 2 minutes that returned the lead to five.
Holiday and Turner combined for a 19-for-33 effort from the floor with 15 assists.
“I thought Jrue and myself would be successful,” said Turner, who made eight of his 13 shots. “When we play like this, we have a great chance at winning games. Tonight, we did that.”
They sure did. The Sixers needed the lift after Bynum said before the game his left knee is causing him too much pain to play. The Sixers have played without him all year. They’re getting used to having Turner and Holiday carry them, and it could be a familiar show for the rest of the season.
“I think we saw it last year in the playoffs when Jrue and myself stepped up,” Turner said. “When the play’s run for you, you’ve got to make the shot.”
Holiday and Turner have been Philadelphia’s best players, with power forward Thaddeus Young in the mix, as well. Young had 20 points and five steals. He had a nice swipe in the fourth against Tayshaun Prince at the top of Detroit’s key and turned it into a fast-break dunk and a 95-91 lead.
Each time the Sixers needed a clutch bucket or a big steal, Holiday, Turner and Young delivered.
“We’re the guys that have to go out there and be key for us each and every night,” Young said.
Spencer Hawes had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Sixers.
Greg Monroe missed a tip with less than a minute left that came back to haunt Detroit. Holiday sank a 19-footer for a 100-95 lead and the Sixers stretched the lead from the free-throw line.
Monroe and Brandon Knight had 22 points apiece. Rodney Stuckey scored 19 for Detroit, and Tayshaun Prince finished with 16.
“Holiday got away from us a couple of times,” coach Lawrence Frank said. “We had some great looks at the rim that unfortunately didn’t go our way. We just have to be cleaner.”
The Sixers shook off a tough loss Saturday at Boston and sluggish first half against Detroit before pulling away in the second half for the win.
Jason Richardson scored 13 points for Philadelphia, including an unusual tiebreaking 3 that made it 83-80 in the fourth. Richardson’s shot rattled around the rim, shot up off the top of the backboard and plopped through the net.
Holiday’s pull-up jumper made it 98-93 and the Sixers seemed to have some breathing room with 1 minute, 53 seconds left.
The Pistons were 0-8 when they came to Philadelphia last month and thumped the Sixers 94-76. They pulled within three in this one before Monroe’s miss around the basket helped cost them a second straight upset win.
“They are one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Monroe said.
The 76ers opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 60-49 lead. Holiday buried a 3 during the spurt and Hawes picked up his play after a poor first half.
The Pistons recovered and pulled within three after Jason Maxiell’s thunderous dunk over Young. In one of the odder box scores to that point, Maxiell missed his first 10 shots to go along with 11 rebounds. He wouldn’t score again or grab another rebound.
Taking a temporary break on press row, Sixers CEO Adam Aron fretted that the Pistons were making the game too close. Knight promptly hit a 3 that tied it at 71. Perhaps looking for better luck elsewhere, Aron left for better seats.
Hawes hit an 18-footer to end the third and give the Sixers a 76-75 lead. The Sixers are now 11-0 when leading after three quarters.
Notes: Former 76ers great Darryl Dawkins was at the game. ... Bynum said his injured right knee is feeling better but even walking causes pain in his left. He’ll have his knees examined again Dec. 20th. ... The Sixers are 6-1 when scoring 100-plus points. The Pistons are 1-10 when allowing 100. ... Turner had his sixth double-double.