The Sixers started slow and finished slower tonight, but managed to do enough in between to secure a 98-95 victory in Portland.
Andre Iguodala led the team with a career-high 32 points to go along with 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. He's the player of the game, although Andre Miller made a strong push with 25 points, 10 assists and 7 boards, but he choked from the foul line down the stretch, giving Portland a chance to come back. He also fouled Portland guard Brandon Roy on their last possession, but the refs missed the call. Roy could've tied the game from the line had the call been made.
Iguodala asserted himself beginning in the second quarter and led a fierce comeback for the Sixers. He disappeared in the fourth, as did everyone else. The Sixers scored 20 points in the fourth and saw their double-digit lead dwindle to one point. Kevin Ollie hit a key pair of free throws in the final seconds to save the win for the Sixers. Mo Cheeks did his usual, puzzling job of managing his timeouts, killing Sixers runs with bad timing. He also picked up a quiet technical foul for arguing with the refs.
Chris Webber's griping about playing time is starting to get louder, he was quoted as saying, "Twenty-six minutes [against the Kings] isn't a lot of minutes. I only played 13 minutes [against Golden State]. I really don't know what's going on." He sat out tonight's game and, not surprisingly, the Sixers played better defense. It would be nice if Webber would just admit that he can't play anymore. He's so slow out there, has no lift on his jumper and he's really a detriment to this team, and would be to any other team. It's sad, but I guess he's got about $40 million reasons not to retire. I fully expect him to get some kind of phantom injury and sit out the remainder of the season some time soon. His ego is too big to allow him to wallow on the bench for much longer. Kudos to Mo Cheeks for sticking to his guns and sitting Webber.
Charlotte won a thriller against the Lakers tonight, and Memphis was inactive, so the Sixers remain tied for the second-worst record in the league with the Bobcats. Their next game is New Year's Eve in L.A. against the Lakers.
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