Sixers crush Seattle

March 7, 2008 6:41:14 PM PST
Samuel Dalembert had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their eighth straight home victory, 117-83 over the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night. Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young added 18 points apiece for Philadelphia, which has long put a 5-13 start behind it and turned into one of the hottest teams in the NBA. The 76ers have won three straight overall and 11 of their last 14 games to move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Chris Wilcox scored 20 points and Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter for the SuperSonics, playing the fourth game of a seven-game road trip.

Philadelphia returned home after winning the final two games of a three-game West Coast road trip, including a 119-114 win at Phoenix that perhaps made the Sixers fans believe a bit more a playoff push was possible. The Sixers entered 28th out of 30 teams in attendance, averaging 13,113 fans in 30 home games, though most games no more than about 6,000 or so show up.

The Sixers drew about a legit 15,000 of the 17,762 announced crowd to watch the Sixers win a game with every starter scoring big buckets. At one point late in the third quarter, starters Miller, Reggie Evans, and Willie Green all had 10 points, Iguodala had 16, Dalembert 18 and the Sixers led by 14 points.

The Sixers, looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005, opened up the game early in the second quarter. Iguodala and Lou Williams each hit 3s for a 43-27 lead. They were the only 3s of the quarter for the Sixers and they shot 59 percent from the floor in the half.

Jason Smith blocked a shot and Young converted the loose ball into an easy basket on the other end that helped the Sixers take a 61-52 lead into halftime.

Iguodala made it 76-62 midway through the third on an emphatic dunk in the open court off a pass from Green. They pulled away from there as slumping Seattle could never slow down the pace.

Up ahead, a visit from Eastern Conference leaders Boston on Monday night. The Celtics will try to snap Philadelphia's longest home winning streak since the 2002-03 season.

Dalembert said his once-strained relationship with coach Maurice Cheeks has improved this season. Dalembert said the two made peace before the season started and the center is now as happy as he's ever been with the Sixers. Still, he wished the organization would hire a true big man coach and Dalembert believes he'd be "way better" if there was one. ... The SuperSonics are 6-25 on the road.