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Young scores 19 points as Sixers win third straight

NEW ORLEANS -- Struggling in his new backup role, Thaddeus Young found the best way to break out of a shooting slump. He took the ball to the basket every chance he got.

Young made his first seven shots and finished with 19 points, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 101-94 win over the short-handed New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

Young, benched after starting the first 41 games, shot 6 for 23 in the Sixers' last three. He went 8 for 9 against the Hornets, getting all but one of his buckets in the lane on drives or on fastbreak layups.

"I was much more aggressive than in the past few games," he said. "I can sit out there and shoot jumpers, but I want to get inside and be aggressive. I played good around the basket."

Andre Iguodala scored 14 points, Rodney Carney had 13 and Samuel Dalembert added 16 rebounds for the Sixers, who stretched their winning streak to a season-high three games.

"It's definitely a confidence booster," Young said. "We've needed that all year. As long as we keep going out there and getting wins, it's going to be great for us. We got out on the break and pretty much got every look that we wanted. We put ourselves in the right position to win the game."

Peja Stojakovic had 23 points and Darren Collison scored 17 for New Orleans, which has lost four straight at home for the first time since January 2007.

The Hornets were without their starting backcourt of All-Star point guard Chris Paul and Marcus Thornton. Paul had arthroscopic knee surgery on Thursday and will be out four-to-six weeks. Thornton, who had team highs of 25 and 22 points in the last two games, has a lower-back contusion.

Already ahead by six, Philadelphia sealed the victory with a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter that Young capped with a transition lay-up for an 89-75 lead.

His biggest play came at the end of the third quarter. After the Hornets pulled to 74-70 with a 6-0 run, he converted an acrobatic tip-in with 4.6 seconds left. The Sixers led by at least six until Collison's 3-pointer in the final minute pulled the Hornets within 5.

Young wants to start again, but he said he would make the best of his role as a reserve.

"I have no choice but to be comfortable," he said. "I'm going out there and just playing. That's what I'm going to continue to do for the rest of the season."

Neither team led by more than 3 until reserves Royal Ivey and Carney hit back-to-back 3s to start a 16-3 run that gave Philadelphia a 51-40 advantage with 2:54 left in the first half. Carney, who had failed to score in six of the Sixers' previous 10 games, had 10 points in the second quarter.

Philadelphia's reserves scored 30 points in the first half and accounted for 50 of the Sixers' 101 points. The backups also helped the Sixers outscore the Hornets 23-10 on the fast break.

"They're feeling confident," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "They feel their group should be uptempo. I tell them I'm not calling plays. I just want you guys to run."

The Hornets were out of synch all night. During one play, David West and James Posey fought for the same rebound with no Philadelphia player around them, knocking the ball out of bounds.

"Maybe we have a lack of urgency," Collison said. "CP does a good job of getting guys ready. He's always making sure everybody's in tune for the game. We definitely miss his presence."

Since scoring 13 points in the first quarter of New Orleans' loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, West has totaled 13 in the next seven.

"We just don't have a good rhythm," West said. "We're going to have to work our way out of it. We're using different lineups and different guys in different positions, just trying to find a way to play the next month with [Paul] out."

Game notes
Philadelphia guard Allen Iverson missed his second consecutive game due to the illness of one of his children. With Paul and Thornton out, the Hornets signed journeyman guard Jason Hart to a 10-day contract Friday. He played eight minutes and had two assists. Philadelphia has won seven of its last 10 road games. The Hornets debuted commemorative purple, green and gold Mardi Gras uniforms they will wear for four consecutive games. The loudest cheer of the night came when the Hornets' mascot jumped through a paper logo of the Indianapolis Colts and dunked during a timeout.

Check out the team sites for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Hornets for more game coverage.

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