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Dalembert dominates in paint to spark Sixers

Feb 27, 2007 - 3:40 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Samuel Dalembert had a hand in helping end the Sacramento Kings' road trip on a sour note.

Dalembert collected 20 points and 17 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers slogged their way to an 89-82 victory over the Kings.

Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Andre Miller had 18, six rebounds and six assists for the Sixers, who won for the second time in six games in a contest that seemed to lack energy from both teams.

"We took jump shots while they ran out getting some early baskets," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "In the second half we tightened up our defense and rebounding. At that point our offense was spread around quite a bit between Samuel (Dalembert), Andre (Miller), and Andre (Iguoadala)."

Dalembert brought his A game as he made 8-of-15 shots and grabbed half of the Sixers' 14 offensive rebounds.

"We've been looking at the games we lost and the games we won and focusing on the things we can change to help each other on the floor," Dalembert said. "We took the challenge upon ourselves tonight to make a difference. Individually, we did a good job tonight. Even though there was some penetration tonight, guys did a good job of keeping people in front of them."

While Dalembert controlled the paint, Miller created on the outside and with his quickness. His drive to the basket with 8:08 remaining gave the Sixers the lead for good and sparked a 14-5 surge.

Dalembert took a lob from Iguodala with 2:58 left to cap the burst and give the Sixers an 85-76 advantage.

Kevin Martin scored 23 points and Brad Miller had 21 and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who concluded a 1-3 road trip. They were unable to build on Sunday's 110-93 triumph over Indiana.

The Kings welcomed back temperamental forward Ron Artest, who missed the game against Indiana due to personal reasons. He finished with 13 points and five rebounds in 36 minutes.

It also was a rough game for Kings point guard Mike Bibby. The South Jersey native scored just seven points on 3-of-14 shooting.

Sacramento, which failed to scored 20 points in any of the last three quarters, shot just 40 percent (32-of-80) and were beaten on the boards, 55-40.

"Obviously tonight was like night and day for us compared to last night (at Indiana)," Kings coach Eric Musselman said. "Give Philadelphia credit for the way they played. It's my fault; we need to do a better job rebounding. We need to get back to technique and try to do a better job coaching these guys."

Artest was having a difficult time understanding his coaches' frustration.

"I'm not sure what's going on through his head," Artest said. "He's having a tough time with all these losses. They keep piling up slowly and you just have to put a stop to it. Eventually it'll come around."

Despite their struggles, the Kings held a 47-42 lead with 10:44 left in the third quarter after Artest sank a jumper.

But Sixers used a 20-10 burst, capped by Miller's jumper to take a 62-57 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Iguodala scored eight points in the third quarter that ended with the Sixers holding a 67-63 advantage.

"We were active on the ball tonight," Iguodala said. "We got our hands on a lot of passes, and Samuel Dalembert was very active down low."

Philadelphia shot 43 percent (36-of-84) as it avenged a 101-76 loss at Sacramento on a December 27.

"Every team in this league plays stretches of four games in five nights," Musselman said. "Teams have to win when you do that. Obviously as the game went on, Philadelphia picked up their intensity. That was the difference in the basketball game."

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