76ers Vs. Pacers: Philadelphia Wins Fifth Straight With 96-86 Victory

The Philadelphia 76ers are off to their best start in over a decade after beating the Indiana Pacers 96-86 on Monday night for the fifth straight win of the season.

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Pacers Vs. Sixers: Can Philadelphia's Defense Hold Up Against Top Teams?

The Philadelphia 76ers are winners of five straight, owners of both a top-five defense and a top-five offense and the trendy pick to win the Atlantic Division, due to a combination of Boston's normal disregard for the regular season, New York's slow start and Philadelphia's own strong play. But Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe isn't entirely convinced. Yet.

Lowe does not want to take any luster from what Philadelphia has accomplished thus far, but he would like to point out that Philadelphia's offense struggled consistently against top defense's last season -- the same defenses the Sixers would need to beat to translate their early-season regular success into playoff accomplishment. So far, the Sixers have not played an overly challenging schedule and Lowe would like to wait before judging if Philadelphia's offense can maintain its current pace.

I'm not saying Philly is just so-so, or that this start is a complete fluke. This team is a joy to watch when it's right, it should absolutely finish (on the low end) among the league's top 10 defenses (it ranked seventh last season) and it has played beautiful offense so far this season. Let's just hold off shoving the Sixers into the elite until they play some better teams, which starts Wednesday in New York and really kicks in with a three-games-in-four nights stretch next week against Denver, Atlanta and Miami.

Philly's offense will determine whether this is a true playoff threat or a nice four-to-six seed capable of winning a playoff round before bowing out meekly against Miami or Chicago. Philadelphia ranked 17th in points per possession last season, and as I wrote in the lead-up to last season's playoffs, the Sixers struggled to score against the league's best defenses - the teams you must beat if you're serious about playing in late May or beyond.

Read Lowe's entire article.

For more 76ers coverage, visit our team page or our blog Liberty Ballers.

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Pacers Vs. 76ers: Philadelphia Puts Away Indiana, Wins Fifth Straight

The Philadelphia 76ers extended their current winning streak to five games after defeating the Indiana Pacers 96-86 on Monday night. The Sixers' 6-2 start this season is their best in 11 years.

Philadelphia never trailed after Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer with 2:31 left in the first quarter. Down five points at half, the Pacers would get as close as three points in the third quarter before the Sixers methodically pulled away, leading up to the 10-point final margin.

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the game. Spencer Hawes played despite suffering a strained back last Saturday, adding 12 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. Roy Hibbert picked up 19 points in the loss for the Pacers, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and picking up eight rebounds.

For more 76ers coverage, visit our team page as well as SB Nation blog Liberty Ballers.

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76ers Vs. Pacers: Philadelphia Looks For Fifth Straight Victory

The Philadelphia 76ers host the Indiana Pacers Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers (5-2) are searching for their fifth straight victory, a feat they haven't accomplished since 2010.

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