For the second time in 8 days the Sixers held a 20-point lead against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City, and for the second time in 8 days they almost let it slip away. The Hornets cut the lead down to 6, but couldn't get any closer. The Sixers left town with an 89-78 win, taking 2 out of 3 on their mini road trip.
The Sixers owned the boards tonight, Dalembert led the way with 15, Joe Smith grabbed 12 off the bench, Stephen Hunter had 10 and Andre Iguodala chipped in with 9. 17 of the Sixers 58 rebounds were on offense. This is they type of effort that makes you proud to root for a team, no matter how bad they are, and no matter how badly they need losses.
Andre Iguodala flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He's the player of the game with an honorable mention to Joe Smith who finished with a double-dozen, points and boards.
The race for Greg Oden is all but decided at this point, I think. The Celtics have lost 13 in a row, and I would bet that they aren't too anxious to get Paul Pierce back on the court. This smells like 1997 when David Robinson malingered on the injured list for the whole second half of the season to secure the top spot in the lottery and ultimately Tim Duncan. That year, the Sixers got the #2 pick, used it to take Keith Van Horn, who said he'd never play in Philly, then traded Van Horn's draft rights to the Nets for Tim Thomas. One of Billy King's finer moves.
A player to keep an eye on is Stephen Hunter. He's playing inspired ball since being moved into the starting lineup, and it's fun to watch two seven-footers play together, especially when they both run up and down the court like deer.
Stephen Hunter has elevated his game since Cheeks went with the "twin towers" lineup. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)