Sixers 1st Win With Iverson

Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 14 rebounds, Allen Iverson scored 20 points and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 117-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Iverson was a rookie the last time the Sixers lost 13 straight in the 1996-97 season. He played the best game of his four-game second stint in Philadelphia to help avoid another unlucky 13-game skid on his resume.

Young was sensational, using an 11-of-15 effort in the first half to give the Sixers a rare comfortable lead. Iverson hit the 20-point mark for the second straight game a day after his having his left knee drained of fluid.

Looking for a spark, 76ers coach Eddie Jordan benched power forward Elton Brand and paired rookie Jrue Holiday in the backcourt with Iverson.

Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 24 points and Anthony Randolph had 15. Golden State lost its third straight in the finale of a five-game trip that started Dec. 7.

Jordan's move worked: Holiday had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Andre Iguodala left briefly with bruised ribs and scored 14 points on brutal 4-of-20 shooting.

Iverson's return generated a short burst of excitement, but not wins. His box office appeal is already lukewarm with only 12,795 fans listed to watch a slumping Sixers team.

Iverson joked at shootaround that after his ill-fated stint with Memphis, he sat home “trying to get fat.” He wasn't in game shape and the Sixers came in with a bloated 18 losses.

He teamed with Young to make eight of 11 shots in the first quarter to help build a 12-point lead. Young really got rolling in the second quarter. He kept close to the basket and used a flurry of layups to score 14 points. He did hit a nice turnaround jumper that stretched the lead to 15.

Iverson capped the half by drawing a midair foul with 1 second left, hitting two free throws to make it 71-57.

Philadelphia won for only the third time in 19 games and its 12-game losing streak was the longest since 2006. Iverson was around for the start of that one three years ago before he was traded and the end of this one after his return.

Iverson acknowledges the years of banging down the lane and crashing the court have taken a severe toll on his 34-year-old frame. He's limited at shootarounds and practices --by coaches decision, not complaint _ and no longer has the quickest first step in the league.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Iverson could rest. Willie Green's 3-pointer with 9:10 left in the fourth gave the Sixers 102 points, meaning free food at a fast-food restaurant for the few fans who bought tickets.

The Sixers were looser in the locker room before the game. Rap music blared and the Sixers bobbed their heads for the first time in years. Sam Dalembert -12 points, 13 rebounds -- said former coach Jim O'Brien banned music during the 2004-05 season and no one ever bothered to crank it up again until Monday.

“This place feels alive, man,'' a smiling Dalembert said.

The weary Warriors couldn't wait to get home. They had three field goals and scored 11 points in the third quarter.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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