Brown says Sixers building chemistry ahead of Thunder clash in Manchester Tuesday


MANCHESTER, England — Tuesday sees the Sixers play their second preseason game as they take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England.

Philadelphia flew into Manchester late Sunday shortly after pair of late free-throws from center Spencer Hawes sealed a 106-104 victory over Bilbao in Spain.

Fourth-year guard Evan Turner scored a team-high 25 points in the win, which also featured double-digit point-scoring performances from Tony Wroten (16), James Anderson (15), Thaddeus Young (14) and Darius Morris (12).

Prior to leaving Philadelphia for Europe, first-year head coach Brett Brown said he hoped the trip would help his young team to bond.

Talking to reporters at the Phones 4u Arena Monday, Brown said his team is taking advantage of the chance to get to know each other better off the court.

"I think it’s inevitable when you’re traveling," he said.

Including 2013 first-round draft picks Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams; the Sixers have seven rookies on their training-camp roster.

"Busses and hotels and team dinner tables … your first few pregame meals and first few games … you start sitting next to somebody, you start talking to somebody a little bit more, and all those things add up.

"I do see signs that those things are for real and they’re good. They’re part of creating chemistry and developing a team."

Brown said the Sixers’ roster is full of good players trying to improve and that both he and his players understand "the monumental task of competing in the NBA."

Rookie center Nerlens Noel has made the trip overseas despite his continued rehabilitation from surgery to repair an ACL tear in his left knee.

Noel watched the team practice Monday while receiving treatment from the medical staff before going through some shooting work with assistant coach Greg Foster.

"I like him being here with us," Brown said. "He can listen to me, he can listen to his teammates, he can be in a video room, he can watch how practice unfolds."

Oklahoma City enters Tuesday’s game on the back of a 95-82 win over Turkish Euroleague team Fenerbahçe on Friday.

The Thunder will be without All-Star guard Russell Westbrook who remains sidelined following a knee injury picked up in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, while Kendrick Perkins is questionable after suffering a dislocated finger in Turkey Friday.

Tipoff in Manchester is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday. The game will be broadcast live on NBATV. You can follow @TomHurley on Twitter for live updates from the Phones 4u Arena.

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