Sixers crush the Bucks

January 30, 2008 7:46:34 PM PST
Watching on Philadelphia's bench with a rare fourth quarter off, Samuel Dalembert felt like an investor following his hot stock tip skyrocket on the scrolling ticker.

Philly piled up the points - +30, +39, +41, +47.

Milwaukee totally crashed.

"You want to see how far you can hold them down," Dalembert said. "We gave them no life at all."

Andre Iguodala scored 18 points and Andre Miller had 14 to lead Philadelphia to a 112-69 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night, the 76ers' largest win in more than 25 years.

"This is one we need to forget about," said Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak.

The Sixers, who won for only the fourth time in the last 15 games, hit a pair of milestones in the rout: This was their largest blowout victory since defeating Atlanta 132-85 on Dec. 8, 1982, and the Sixers recorded their widest margin of victory in 12 seasons at the Wachovia Center.

The Sixers had 32-point wins over Charlotte in 2005 and Seattle in 2001.

"Oh really?" said Iguodala, his eyes widened. "It shows we just kept playing."

Thaddeus Young scored 14 points for the Sixers, who ended the month with a 4-4 mark. Not great, but enough for rebuilding Philadelphia to find itself on the brink of a playoff spot. Coach Maurice Cheeks has tried to squash blossoming talk of a postseason push and instead worry only about winning a nice slate of home games leading into the All-Star break.

Counting the win against the Bucks, the Sixers play seven of eight at home before the break.

Cheeks said before the game his goal for the semi-homestand was to win all seven. Well, they're off to a nice start after punishing the Bucks for all 48 minutes.

"That was a great game for us from start to finish," Cheeks said.

Royal Ivey scored 17 for the Bucks, who were without leading scorer Michael Redd for the third straight game because of a left knee strain. Mo Williams had 14.

The Bucks haven't won on the road since winning at Philadelphia on Jan. 8. They are only 5-22 on the road, including an 87-80 loss at New Jersey on Tuesday. They also matched their lowest point total of the season.

"There wasn't much fuel in the tank," Krystkowiak said. "There wasn't much they could call upon. I know they're tired, but we need to get our energy up, rest up and get our feet back under us."

The Sixers trailed only for the first few possessions before blowing open the game. Perhaps because they were tired, short-handed or both, the Bucks were sloppy and looked disinterested. They committed 10 turnovers in the first half, including seven in the second quarter.

That helped Philadelphia open the quarter on a 22-6 run, with Iguodala trying to excite the crowd with both a 3-pointer and a flashy fast-break dunk. The Sixers, who have struggled to score all season, had a rare well-rounded effort with Iguodala, Miller and Willie Green all in double figures at the break.

"You can't have any sympathy for them," Iguodala said.

Cheeks tried to shake up the lineup by bumping Reggie Evans from the starting five in favor of rookie Jason Smith. Evans shook off the demotion before the game, saying, "Winning is like Advil. It heals everything."

Evans then went out and gave the Bucks a migraine. His 13 points matched a season high for the power forward, though he could have topped the total had he not shot 3-for-13 from the free throw line.

"It wasn't anything that he didn't do, it wasn't anything that someone else did, it was that I liked his energy off the bench," Cheeks said. "He showed why tonight."

The Sixers led 77-47 at the end of three. The Bucks were a miserable 27-for-71 from the field, misfired on four of 14 3-point attempts and showed little hustle.

After Rodney Carney dunked in the fourth to put Philadelphia ahead 87-49, the Bucks slowly walked toward the bench for a timeout with their heads down and their spirits even lower.

"We get paid to play and I'm embarrassed," Ivey said.

With starters like Dalembert (12 points) and Miller out the entire fourth quarter, reserves such as Carney and Young played extended minutes and pushed the score up to 99-52. Young and Carney went a combined 8-for-10 from the floor and each scored 10 points in the fourth.

Smith made his first career start. He sprained his left ankle in the fourth and left the game. ... Philly's highest season point total is 114, also against the Bucks. ... The Sixers are 7-6 when scoring more than 100 points.