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Iguodala returns, leads 76ers past Heat

Mar 25, 2007 - 4:13 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- The Miami Heat have cooled considerably since their nine-game winning streak ended.

The suddenly slumping Heat dropped their second straight game, squandering a 17-point lead and suffering a 93-85 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, who welcomed back leading scorer Andre Iguodala.

Iguodala, who missed a game for the first time in his three-year NBA career when he sat out Friday's win over Charlotte with a lower back strain, scored 19 points as the 76ers defeated the Heat for the third time in four meetings this season.

Miami (37-32) has lost three of its last four games, all to teams with sub-.500 records. It fell a game behind first-place Washington (37-30) in the Southeast Division.

"We have not played very well the last three or four games," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We got very frustrated from our lack of ability to score. They made some big plays down the stretch."

Iguodala, who had played in 232 straight games before sitting out, played 46 minutes Saturday. The 6-6 swingman shot 5-of-14 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

The 76ers used a 17-4 run capped by Samuel Dalembert's dunk with 8:41 remaining to grab their first lead at 72-71. Kyle Korver scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

"They called my number," Korver said, "and I got some good looks early and it helped the team.

"We showed a lot of character and got after them. We were really frustrated after that first half, and Coach got on us a little and we were able to turn it around. ... We finally started to make some shots. They got cold and we were able to get on a little run and trim it down."

Miami jumped out to a 30-13 lead after one quarter but failed to score 20 points in a period thereafter as Philadelphia chipped away at the deficit.

"It was like a totally different team out there," Iguodala said. "We have to give ourselves credit, we were contesting shots and getting fast-break points. Our pressure on the ball was much better in the second half.

"We knew we had to chop it down piece by piece. We showed good character out there. The young guys really stepped it up and made a difference."

Jason Williams scored 21 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 18 for the Heat, who shot just 6-of-27 from the arc.

"It was a very disappointing loss, obviously," Riley said. "I thought we came out with a lot of energy and played extremely well in the first half.

"In the third quarter and fourth quarter, everything just went south on us. We couldn't make shots."

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Sixers in Miami.

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