Iguodala, Brand lead 76ers over Hornets
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Protecting double-digit leads has been especially maddening for the Philadelphia 76ers this season.
This time, they just got mad.
Andre Iguodala(notes) and Elton Brand(notes) scored 18 points each, Allen Iverson(notes) added 16 and the 76ers snapped a four-game home losing streak with a 96-92 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.
“We were a little angry and I thought it helped us,” said Brand, who fouled out. “We played with a purpose in the fourth quarter. I think this win will give us a nice boost of confidence.”
Dalembert had 12 rebounds in the first quarter, the most in one quarter by a Philadelphia player since the Wachovia Center opened for the 1996-97 season.
“Sam’s been playing pretty well pretty much all season,” Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan said. “We’re happy about the things he’s giving us. It just seems like he’s getting more and more aggressive each game.”
“I’m confident in my teammates, so I just go out there and give everything,” Dalembert said.
Emeka Okafor(notes) had 20 points and 11 rebounds, David West(notes) added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Chris Paul(notes) had 13 points and 14 assists for the Hornets, whose season-best six-game winning streak was snapped.
New Orleans lost on the road for the first time in four games since Jan. 1.
“We battled back three times,” Hornets coach Jeff Bower said. “It was very difficult to fight back and come up short.”
With the score tied at 92, Iguodala started to drive and then passed to Dalembert, who hit a short hook from the baseline with 25.5 seconds left.
“The man stepped up and my initial reaction was to throw it to the open man,” said Iguodala, who added eight assists and five rebounds.
“It’s my shot,” Stojakovic said. “I thought I had a good look, but Iguodala came flying at me.”
Brand hit a 15-foot jumper to give the Sixers a 91-88 lead with 2:12 remaining before Paul responded with a clutch 3-pointer to tie it at 91 with 1:14 left.
Iverson connected on one of two free throws for a 92-91 lead with 57 seconds to go.
Okafor made one of two free throws with 42.6 seconds left to tie the game again.
An 11-0 run in the fourth by Philadelphia pushed its lead to 86-76 with 7:43 remaining.
But the Sixers have had trouble holding double-digit leads all season and watched the Hornets come right back with a 9-0 run to close within 86-85 with 3:54 left.
“We kept our poise,” Brand said.
The Sixers led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but the Hornets responded with a late 13-1 run to get within 46-43.
Philadelphia led 48-43 at halftime.
Before the game, the Hornets traded center Hilton Armstrong(notes) and cash considerations to Sacramento for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2016. Armstrong was the 12th overall selection in the 2006 draft.
NOTES:@ Jordan said “It doesn’t bother me” that 76ers president Ed Stefanski refused to say the embattled first-year coach would last the remainder of the season. Asked on Friday to review Jordan, Stefanski said, “I’m not happy with anything.” Jordan said they spoke over the weekend, but wanted to keep the conversation private. … Jordan said he’s hoping regular treatment will improve Iverson’s arthritic left knee. “If we manage it correctly, and he’s diligent with his rehab and his workouts, it will get better,” he said. … Paul was charged with a technical foul with 9:35 left in regulation.