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Evan Turner Not Looking Over His Shoulder This Season

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
Matt Leon Matt Leon
Coming on board at KYW was a homecoming for Matt Leon. Born and raised...
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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Sixers’ homestand continues tonight as they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to the Center.

This is the second of eight straight home games for Philadelphia.  The first was on Saturday night, as the Sixers put together one of their best efforts of the season, rolling the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks, 97-80.

“We were able to win a first quarter and everything just snowballed positively on from there,” Sixers guard/forward Evan Turner tells KYW Newsradio.  “Jrue (Holiday) had a hot night, he got us going well.”

Holiday, headed to his first All-Star Game next month, was wonderful against the Knicks, finishing with a career high 35 points.

But Turner was also key in the win, finishing with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists.  For the season, Turner is averaging 14.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game.  He is shooting 44% from the field, and a very impressive 42% from behind the three-point arc.  Coming into this season, Turner was a 27% three-point shooter.  The Ohio State product talks about why that perimeter game is so improved.

“Consistency and rhythm,” Turner says. “I’ve been able to play, work out kinks, work through stuff.  I sat behind an All-Star and a gold medal winner (Andre Iguodala) my first two years and this year I’ve been able to get acclimated fully and not have to look over my shoulder.”

Turner and the Sixers defeated the Grizzlies in their first meeting, in Memphis, back on December 26th, 99-89.

“We already know it’s going to be a grind it out type game,” Turner says.  “It’s going to be a tough game, they like to be physical and everything.”

Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Evan Turner:

The Sixers are 18-25, and they head into tonight in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.  Of course, the top eight teams make the playoffs, and right now the Sixers are 2 1/2 games behind 8th-place Boston.  Turner says this homestand is a real critical stretch.

“We’ve got to take advantage of being at home and defending our home court and once again just deliver a blow and become the aggressor.”

The Sixers and Grizzlies will tip-off at 7:00pm tonight.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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