76ers 98, Blazers 95

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—With Allen Iverson out of the way, the other A.I. is taking over in Philadelphia.

Andre Igoudala scored 32 points, surpassing his career high for the second time in seven days, and the 76ers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 98-95 Friday night.

Brandon Roy led the Blazers with 15 points, but Portland’s bid for a comeback victory was denied in the final seconds. Andre Miller appeared to foul Roy on Roy’s trip to the hoop. No call was made, Miller got the rebound and made a free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Miller had 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Sixers, who overcame a double-digit first-half deficit and bounced back from one of their worst losses of the season.

“We finally had a breakthrough game,” Igoudala said. “We gutted this one out. … It was just a solid win for us.”

Igoudala, whose previous career high was 31 points against Boston on Dec. 22, entered the game averaging 15.9 points. But he has stepped up his scoring considerably since the Iverson trade, with four games of at least 20 points in his last six.

Zach Randolph had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers. Ime Udoka scored 12 points and Juan Dixon added 11.

Randolph had trouble working out of double-teams and was just 4-of-10 from the field.

Playing without power forward Chris Webber, the Sixers entered the game having lost 18 of their last 21. They fell 101-76 to Sacramento on Wednesday, their 13th road loss in 14 games, after a 39.4 percent shooting performance.

Against Portland, the Sixers had a 10-point lead with just over 4 minutes remaining and had a chance to make it 12, but Kyle Korver’s jumper bounced off.

The Blazers got within six with 3:14 left on a follow by Randolph, and Martell Webster cut the lead to 96-93 on a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left.

Miller was 1-of-2 at the line and Roy got the Blazers within a point with a layup at 16 seconds. After Kevin Ollie split a pair of foul shots, the Blazers had a chance to win, but Roy’s layup missed and he sat in disbelief when no foul call came.

“It definitely felt like a foul,” he said. “When you put the game in the refs’ hands, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. … I’m a rookie and I know I need to pay my dues, but I want to win.”

Korver scored 19 points for Philadelphia. Samuel Dalembert had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Jamaal Magloire and Webster each had 10 points for Portland.

Webber, who has butted heads with coach Maurice Cheeks over playing time, was a late addition to the inactive list with a bruised right foot. Alan Henderson started in his place, and he alternated with Joe Smith, acquired Dec. 19 from Denver in the Allen Iverson trade.

Henderson finished with five points and four rebounds, but his biggest contribution was his defense on Randolph.

“Zach is the key to their offense and it was our attention to details that was the key to our defense,” Cheeks said. “Alan Henderson’s job on Zach was a huge key to the game.”

The Sixers started slowly, trailing 30-20 when the Blazers’ Sergio Rodriguez beat the first-quarter buzzer with a running 37-footer. The Blazers took their largest lead of 12 points on a rim-shaking dunk by Magloire early in the quarter.

But turnovers, poor defense and Igoudala began unraveling Portland’s lead midway through the second. The 76ers went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 44-43, and had a 4-minute stretch where they made six straight shots.

Portland led by four at the break when officials ruled Miller’s reverse layup beat the halftime buzzer.

The Sixers started the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take the lead, going up 78-68 on a bank shot from Miller.


Cheeks was back for the second time against the Blazers, the team he coached from 2001-05. Portland won the first game, 95-91 on Dec. 28, 2005. … The Blazers won 81-79 on Dec. 11 … Portland is 7-8 at the Rose Garden.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
A. Iguodala A. Iguodala
11-21,  32 Pts
5 Rebs, 5 Assists
Z. Randolph Z. Randolph
4-10,  13 Pts
12 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders



Friday, Dec 29