Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sixers stay hot; dump Clippers

Philadelphia (The Phanatic Magazine) - Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 24 points and Andre Iguodala added 20 as the Philadelphia 76ers stayed hot by downing the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-91, in front of 11,775 at Wells Fargo Center.

Holiday also play a solid floor game, snaring six rebounds and dishing out five assists with just one turnover. In fact, the Sixers had just five turnovers as a team, tying a floor record,  against 14 for the Clippers, who are a dismal 0-11 on the road this season.

Iguodala finished 8-of-10 from the field while Spencer Hawes had his second straight solid game with 16 points, 12 boards and a season-high five blocked shots as Philadelphia won its third straight and for the seventh time in nine games.

"Rebounding and blocking shots," Hawes said. "I am feeling more and more like myself. As a whole I was disappointed in my play, but right now that is all behind me."

Elton Brand finished with 15 points and played dogged defense on Clips star rookie Blake Griffin while Thaddeus Young netted 12 points off the bench.

"I was a little worried at halftime that we couldn't stop them. Our defense was spectacular in the second half," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We made an adjustment on our screen-roll defense at halftime and I think that made a big difference."

Griffin recorded his 13th consecutive double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds, which matched his career-high. Baron Davis had 18 points for LA while Eric Gordon had 16 and DeAndre Jordan amassed 15 on a perfect 7-of-7 night from the field.

"I didn't like our effort at all," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I didn't think we player particularly hard in the first half. Second half I thought they were much more aggressive."

A Griffin bucket midway through the third quarter gave the Clippers a 68-65 advantage, but the Sixers held the visitors to just one field goal for the rest of the frame as they took control.

Iguodala buried a three-pointer for an 80-70 lead with under 2 1/2 minutes left and capped a quarter-ending 22-6 spurt by going cost-to-coast and converting a layup while getting fouled in the closing seconds. The ensuing free throw yielded an 87-74 cushion, and six minutes into the final frame  Brand's step-back jumper made it a 97-81 game.

The Clippers never closed within single digits from there.

"It's different each game," Griffin said of the Clippers' struggles. "In the first half, we did a decent job of moving the ball and everything. We can't let games get away from us."

LA held a 29-28 lead after 12 minutes and 56-53 edge at the conclusion of a tight opening half.

Next up is a big test for the Sixers when the two-time defending NBA champion LA Lakers invade Wells Fargo Center on Friday.

"They have been playing a little better of late," Brand said of the Lakers. "We just have to have one of our best efforts."

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