Saturday , Dec , 23 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

A.I. Part II guides Sixers past Celtics

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – The only A.I. left in town, Andre Iguodala,
netted a career-high 31 points and dished out nine assists as Philadelphia
snapped its 12-game losing streak by downing Boston, 98-83.

The 76ers’ picked up their first win in the post-Allen Iverson era and also
snapped a 10-game road losing streak. Philadelphia’s 12-game skid was its
longest since a 13-game slide in 1996-97, Iverson’s rookie season.

Samuel Dalembert, Kyle Korver and Kevin Ollie all had 14 points in the win.
Dalembert also finished with 12 rebounds while Ollie had six rebounds and
eight assists.

“We got a win tonight. I think we put together a good game together,” said
Iguodala. “We executed our game plan.”

Philadelphia won for just the third time in 22 games.

Absent from the game were two of the stars who usually dominate the Eastern
Conference.

The 76ers, of course, are still putting the pieces back together after the
trade of Iverson. Some of those pieces weren’t available, though, as guard
Andre Miller was in Philadelphia for his physical and was not able to make his
debut.

Forward Joe Smith, also acquired in the trade, was at the arena but unable to
play because Iverson hadn’t received and passed his physical in Denver by the
time the 76ers’ had to submit their roster for the game.

Iverson eventually passed his physical after the 76ers’ game began and made
his debut with Denver Friday night. Miller and Smith are both expected to make
their debuts Saturday in Philadelphia against the Knicks.

On the other side, Boston was playing its first contest since learning All-
Star forward Paul Pierce will miss at least two weeks because of a stress
reaction in his left foot.

Al Jefferson and Gerald Green each had 20 points for the Celtics, who have
followed a five-game win streak with a pair of loses. Jefferson added 14
rebounds in defeat, while former St. Joseph’s standout Delonte West had 14
points off the bench.

“Well, that’s game number one without our guys and we scored 83 points,” said
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. “I told the guys that I was extremely
disappointed because I thought that every single guy thought that there job
today was to divvy up the shots.”

Eight straight points by Boston — five from Green — cut its deficit to 75-71
with 9:52 to go in the fourth, but Korver dropped in a three and a short
jumper to make it 80-71.

“Honestly I think it just came down to stops,” said Green. “We didn’t get
stops when it was needed.”

Boston refused to go away as a layup and free throw from Green made it an
82-77 contest with 7:09 left. Philadelphia again answered, netting eight of
the next 10 points to go ahead 90-79. Iguodala’s jumper with 2:34 remaining
put Philadelphia ahead by double digits.

Boston never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

“I thought that was just a great team effort by all our guys,” said
Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks. “I mean, we all talked about we were
hanging in there to win this game, we’ve been hanging in there — and after 12
consecutive losses we were looking for champagne when we came in the locker
room.”

The Celtics got as close as four in the third quarter, but six straight points
by the Sixers put their lead in double digits at 62-51 with 4:42 to go in the
frame.

The teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter as Willie Green closed
out the frame with a basket that put Philadelphia in front 73-63.

Willie Green ended with 11 points.

Down 20-18, Philadelphia closed out the first frame with six in a row, four
from Iguodala, to lead 24-20.

The 76ers then opened up the second frame with a three-pointer from Korver as
his club netted 11 of the first 12 points of the quarter to go ahead 35-22.
Steven Hunter and Rodney Carney capped the burst with consecutive dunks.

Boston answered with seven points in a row as a layup and free throw by
Jefferson cut Boston’s deficit to 35-28 with 6:55 to go. The Celtics continued
to claw their way back into the game as a jumper by Green made it a 44-40 game
with 1:38 left until the half.

Philadelphia held on, and led 48-41 at the break.

Game Notes

It was the first time in six games the 76ers held Boston to under 100
points…Philadelphia’s 10-game road skid was the fifth longest in franchise
history…Boston lost to the 76ers for the first time in seven
meetings…Green had nine rebounds…Tony Allen had 12 points in the
loss…Boston held a slight rebound edge, 36-34.

BOS PHI