Sixers lose final game before AI returns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - December 5, 2009

A night after the Bobcats lost to New Jersey to end the Nets' record-worst NBA start at 0-18, they appeared ready to hand the Sixers their first win in more than two weeks.

But Boris Diaw hit a 3-pointer and a scoop shot in a late run, and Felton rubbed off a screen on a drive and beat Samuel Dalembert to the basket for the go-ahead basket.

Andre Iguodala missed a fadeaway at the buzzer for the 76ers, who blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in their ninth straight loss ahead of Allen Iverson's return Monday.

Diaw had 28 points, and Gerald Wallace had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who overcame another sloppy performance to snap a two-game losing streak

Willie Green scored 26 points, and Iguodala had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who lost another guard before tipoff to injury.

With Louis Williams out a couple of months with a broken jaw, the Sixers were without replacement Jrue Holiday. He strained his right rotator cuff while blocking Green's dunk in practice Friday.

Coach Eddie Jordan shuffled his lineup, moving Green to point guard and Iguodala into the backcourt. That allowed Elton Brand to return to the starting lineup after he came off the bench for two games following his return from a hamstring injury.

Green, though, was the star in the third quarter. Scoring on a variety of 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers, drives and free throws, he had 18 points in the period, including a banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Philadelphia an 86-78 lead.

Charlotte slowly chipped away and Diaw's 3-pointer with 1:22 left cut it to 103-102. The Sixers failed to convert on two possessions, and Iguodala's turnover gave Charlotte the ball.

After two timeouts, Diaw's scoop shot in the lane put Charlotte up 104-103 with 17 seconds left. Iguodala hit two free throws 4 seconds later before Felton's driving bucket.

The inconsistent Bobcats drew the wrath of coach Larry Brown before the game, who targeted Diaw, Tyson Chandler and Charlotte's other big men after their embarrassing loss a night earlier.

Diaw, held to four points and three rebounds on 1-of-6 shooting against the Nets, was more energetic and scored 11 points in the first quarter. Wallace heated up in the second period, and Charlotte led by as many as eight before Jason Kapono's hot shooting got Philadelphia within 49-48 at halftime.

Diaw hit 10 of 12 shots, while Felton added 18 points for the Bobcats, who were the last team to lose to the Sixers on Nov. 18. Philadelphia can only hope Iverson's return can give it a boost. He's to practice with the team on Sunday and is expected to play Monday against Denver.

NOTES: Jordan didn't seem too concerned that Brand had been upset coming off the bench. "It doesn't really affect me," Jordan said, before smiling and adding, "I think he told Jrue to go up and block the dunk." ... Bobcats G D.J. Augustin didn't play for the second straight game, and Brown didn't hold back when asked why he's fallen out of the rotation. "He hasn't defended like he needs to defend. He hasn't made shots. He hasn't distributed the ball," he said. ... Sixers C Primoz Brezec, who scored the first basket in Bobcats' history in 2004, chatted with several team employees before tipoff.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.