Iguodala, Young lead 76ers past Pacers 110-100By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Quietly, the Philadelphia 76ers have gone on a tear.
Andre Iguodala(notes), coming off back-to-back triple-doubles, finished with 16 points and 10 assists to help Philadelphia beat the Indiana Pacers 110-100 Tuesday night. Thaddeus Young(notes) scored 18 points, Jrue Holiday(notes) scored 16 and Jodie Meeks(notes) added 15 for the 76ers, who have won seven of eight.
“We’re just starting to find ourselves,” Iguodala said. “Guys are starting to get comfortable. I know where Elton’s going to be, I know where Jodie’s going to be, and I know where I’m going to be. We’re all just feeling each other out. It’s coming together.”
Iguodala has averaged 14.8 points, 8.4 assists and 7.9 rebounds the past eight games.
“I don’t know what player out there is going to bring the defense he brings, the unselfishness he brings, and the ability to score that he brings.” Philadelphia forward Elton Brand(notes) said. “He can see the court. If he’s not scoring the ball, he’s seeing other guys, and he’s putting us in easy positions to knock the shots down.”
Philadelphia shot 51 percent and forced Indiana into 20 turnovers. All five 76ers starters scored at least 12 points, and seven players scored in double figures.
“Hansbrough was unbelievable,” Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. “That guy is a really, really good player. He’s really good.”
The Pacers started off 7-1 under interim coach Frank Vogel, but now have lost four straight and six of seven.
“Our guys have to do better,” Vogel said. “They understand it, I understand it. We’re not getting it done defensively and not moving the ball enough.”
Indiana trailed by 21 points in the second half, but a pair of free throws by Hansbrough cut Philadelphia’s lead to 86-76 early in the fourth quarter.
The 76ers extended their lead to 96-80 on a layup by Holiday, but Indiana rallied, and a jumper by Hansbrough cut Philadelphia’s lead to 100-91 with 2:42 left.
The Pacers trailed 100-93 and had the ball. Indiana’s A.J. Price(notes) missed a 3-pointer, but Hibbert rebounded. He looked for a teammate, but threw the ball right to Holiday, and Meeks hit a 3-pointer at the other end to push the lead back to 10 points.
“It was that kind of night,” George said. “It seemed like they were hitting about everything. Offensively, we just didn’t have it going.”
The 76ers jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter, and shot 59 percent in the first half to lead 65-53 at the break. Brand said the team was aware that Indiana was five games behind them in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“We didn’t want to be lackadaisical,” he said. “We wanted to make this game more important to us than to them, and we came out and did that.”
The Pacers sabotaged their efforts to come back early in the second half with turnovers. Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes(notes) hit back-to-back baskets, then Holiday dunked an alley-oop pass from Iguodala to give the 76ers a 77-58 lead and force the Pacers to call a timeout. Indiana rallied late in the quarter and trailed 84-70 at the end of the period, but Philadelphia finished strong in the final minutes.
“We’re riding high right now,” Brand said. “We’re playing very well. Against the good teams, we’re playing well, even if we lose. We feel like we can beat just about any team.”
Notes: Indiana F Jeff Foster(notes) sat out with a sore back. … Indiana G Dahntay Jones(notes) was called for a flagrant 1 foul in the second quarter when he made contact with Evan Turner(notes) as Turner drove to the hoop. … Philadelphia shot 60 percent in the first quarter. … Granger has shot 34 percent from the field during Indiana’s losing streak.