Friday, February 04, 2011

Brand, Sixers edge Knicks

Philadelphia - Elton Brand scored a season-high 33 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, as the Philadelphia 76ers used a huge fourth quarter to edge the  New York Knicks, 100-98, in front of a raucous crowd of 18,823 at Wells Fargo Center during the front end of a home-and-home weekend set.

Andre Iguodala added 18 points and a career-high 16 assists without a single turnover for the Sixers, who have won three in a row and six of seven overall. The former Arizona star is just the third NBA player this season to record 15 assists in a game without a miscue, joining Boston's Rajon Rondo and Utah's Deron Williams and just the 12th to do it, dating back to the 2000-01 campaign. It was the most assists without a turnover by a Sixer since 1986-87.

Jodie Meeks chipped in with four three-pointers and 14 points as Philadelphia improved to 15-4 in its last 19 home games.

Coming off his first career triple-double on Wednesday, Jrue Holiday tallied just six points on 2-of-8 shooting for Philadelphia, which outscored New York by a 27-16 margin in the fourth quarter.

Raymond Felton dominated Holiday and finished with 26 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who have dropped three of four and are now just two games ahead of the Sixers for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. All-Star Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and seven boards while Danilo Gallinari ended with 18 points and 13 rebounds but was just 4-of-12 from the floor.

"They're athletic. That's what they do. That's where they are good," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Iguodala and Thaddeus Young -- they're very athletic."

Wilson Chandler returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games with a sore left calf and recorded three points off the bench for the Knicks.

"That was an amazing game," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "It was like four different games. I told our guys in the fourth quarter that is the toughest we have been all season long. Thaddeus Young stepped in and took two big offensive fouls. Andre was great. Evan [Turner] has only four points but did a terrific job defensively."

New York will host Philadelphia at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Six Shots:

*Iguodala has 41 assists and just six turnovers in his last five games.

*Brand now has 18 double-doubles. He has 17 total in his first two seasons in Philly.

"Elton Brand got us off to a great start," Collins said. "He wa sour ace of spades tonight."
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