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News » Iguodala, Miller help seal playoff spot for Sixers

Iguodala, Miller help seal playoff spot for Sixers

Iguodala, Miller help seal playoff spot for Sixers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Wanting to clinch a playoff berth at home, Philadelphia coach Tony DiLeo relied on Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller, and they came though for the 76ers in a 95-90 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Playing the entire second half, Iguodala scored 16 of his season-high 31 points, and Miller added a triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and the 76ers advanced to the playoffs for the second straight season.

Ordinal out of range

"We took a little gamble playing Andre and Andre the whole second half, but we felt we had to do it," DiLeo said. "Miller had a great game with the triple-double and Andre Iguodala had the high score, so those two guys really stepped it up."

Despite having a game Sunday against New Jersey, DiLeo wanted to seal a berth as soon as possible, and his veteran leaders didn't flinch when asked to keep playing.

"This game was important," Miller said. "We needed to win. The playoff clinch is a plus, but we definitely needed this home win before we went on this road trip. That's why we wanted to stay on the court. We worked hard to get to this point. The hard work is paying off."

Detroit led by 12 points in the second half and took an 88-87 lead with 2:17 left in the game after Rodney Stuckey made two free throws. But Miller made three free throws and Reggie Evans added two more with 39 seconds left for a 92-88 lead. Stuckey banked two foul shots with 22.7 seconds left, cutting the lead to 92-90, but Miller answered with two more.

Iguodala scored the final point for the Sixers, and the crowd celebrated. Miller and Iguodala also combined on feeds that resulted in impressive Iguodala dunks.

"Iguodala had a big night, but we gave him four backdoor lobs," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "The key with him is to keep him in front of you. The last couple of minutes they did what they've been doing."

Stuckey scored 23 points for Detroit, and Kwame Brown added a season-high 15 in the loss, which combined with Chicago's win over New Jersey, put the Pistons a half-game behind the Bulls for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit still leads Charlotte for the eighth and final spot.

"Tomorrow's game is even more important than this one," said guard Richard Hamilton, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half. "We definitely need to get a win."

Miller recorded his ninth career triple double when he grabbed his 10th rebound with 30 seconds remaining.

"I've been close a couple of times, and it didn't happen," Miller said. "I'm more satisfied with the win. I knew I was close. Once it got to 30 seconds left, I thought it wasn't going to happen. The rebound just fell into my hands."

Philadelphia will use its final seven regular-season games to determine its seed in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers sit fifth in the conference after Saturday's win, a half-game ahead of Miami.

Considering where they were on Dec. 12, a 9-14 mark that led to Maurice Cheek's dismissal, the Sixers came a long way.

"It's been a roller-coaster, but we showed that we could overcome a lot of different situations," Iguodala said. "We've been able to find a way, and it's been sweet the way it's gone from being counted out to getting right back into position. We just have to maintain our spot. We said we have to finish out the season strong. That's a sign of our team maturing and getting better."

Notes: Detroit's Tayshaun Prince took a nasty fall after being fouled by Philadelphia's Theo Ratliff late in the game. Prince went high for a layup, and was met with Ratliff under the basket. Prince landed hard and remained on the floor for several minutes, attended to by Pistons medical personnel. He remained in the game and had 10 points. ... The Sixers have won their past two games despite trailing by more than 10 points in each. ... Philadelphia took the season series from Detroit for the first time since the 2000-01 season. ... Iguodala's 31 points gave the 76ers a 30-point scorer for the fourth time in the past 22 games.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 5, 2009


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