Knicks fall to the red hot Sixers

January 17, 2009 7:23:29 PM PST
Andre Iguodala had 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and the Philadelphia 76ers returned to .500 with their seventh straight victory, 107-97 over the New York Knicks on Saturday night. Andre Miller added 27 points and eight assists for the 76ers, making a pair of baskets in a 10-0 burst after the Knicks had closed within one with 5 minutes remaining. Lou Williams scored 15 points to help Philadelphia beat New York for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings.

Philadelphia (20-20) evened its record for the first time since it was 7-7 following a loss at Charlotte on Nov. 24. Iguodala has keyed the recent surge, scoring 20 or more in 11 of the last 14 games.

Al Harrington scored 26 points for the Knicks, who welcomed back Danilo Gallinari after a 2½ month absence while losing for the second time in two nights. Quentin Richardson added 19, and Wilson Chandler had 17.

The 76ers, coming off a 109-87 victory over San Antonio on Friday night, could have Elton Brand back Monday when they host Dallas. Brand, who has missed the last 15 games with a dislocated right shoulder, is expected to practice Sunday and then be re-evaluated before the Sixers decide on his availability for Monday.

Gallinari, the No. 6 pick in the draft, made his first appearance since the second game of the season and scored six points in 16 minutes. He missed the last 36 games because of a sore lower back.

The forward from Italy started the second quarter and played the next 4 minutes. He made a 3-pointer to a loud ovation, but also traveled and was way off on a reverse layup attempt.

He was much better in his second stint, nailing a 3-pointer, then setting up Harrington's second straight 3-point that cut it to 84-81 with 7:57 remaining. The Knicks closed within one on another 3 by Harrington with 5:02 to play, but the 76ers put it away with 10 in a row, with Thaddeus Young's bucket making it 101-90 with 2:49 to play.

Young had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Knicks made nine of their first 11 shots before the 76ers rallied to take a 26-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. Philadelphia took a 52-50 lead into halftime after an athletic 3-pointer by Iguodala, who leaped behind the arc to catch a high pass from a trapped Willie Greene and tossed it in while in the air as time expired.

The 76ers finally got their running game going in the third quarter, getting a pair of layups in a 10-0 burst that turned a three-point lead into a 70-57 advantage with 2:51 remaining. Philadelphia led 77-66 after three.

Notes: 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said Brand would come off the bench when he returns, playing short stints. ... Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who played and coached in Italy, laughed off an Italian journalist's comments in a New York Post story that the Knicks' decision to have Gallinari lift weights contributed to his back problems. "There's some stuff that comes out of Italy, I've been there. I know. You've seen his body, he hasn't been doing any weights," D'Antoni said. "We've got the best people that worry so much over our guys' health and they're doing everything possible and just his back for whatever reason just didn't respond ... to assess a blame here or blame there, that's nuts."

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