for this game

Iguodala leads Sixers to huge comeback against Trail Blazers

Nov 17, 2007 - 4:45 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Andre Iguodala had a first half to forget. In the second, however, all was forgiven.

Iguodala scored 22 points as the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a huge deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, 92-88, on Friday.

Reserves Louis Williams and rookie Jason Smith helped the comeback by scoring 19 and 12, respectively, as the 76ers' bench netted 37 points after halftime.

"The bench got the game ball tonight," Iguodala said. "Louis Williams was huge, Jason Smith made some big plays and made some free throws. And (rookie) Thaddeus Young had his first key minutes in an important environment."

It was the second time this month that Williams came off the bench to light a fire under the Sixers' offense.

"It's easy when you think that the game is out of reach," said Williams, who scored 21 second-half points vs. Toronto on November 9. "It's easy to play a lot more relaxed and take chances that you would not normally take."

Williams has scored 47 of his 82 points in the second half and is shooting 63 percent in the final period this season.

"That's how the chips are falling right now," Williams said of his late-game success. "Next game, I want to come in and have that same exact energy in the first half."

The victory halted a five-game losing streak by Philadelphia, which trailed by 25 points in the second quarter.

"The funny thing was that (Sixers guard) Willie Green said that we were going to win," Iguodala said. "We just kept playing. We didn't want to get blown out, so we cut to 20, then down to 15 and so forth."

"We tried to play this game for 24 minutes," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "This is a lesson for our young group that, if you mess with the game, the game messes with you."

Iguodala noted the impact the win had on Philadelphia.

"It lets us know that we're capable of beating a lot of teams," Iguodala said. "Coming back from that many points lets us think about what we can do if we play for 48 minutes."

Iguodala was key to the comeback, scoring eight points in each of final two periods to erase the deficit.

"I was able to find guys in the spots they were supposed to be in," Iguodala said. "It started on the defensive end. We got some stops, and it turned into some easy baskets."

The Sixers' leading scorer, Iguodala, had just six points and six turnovers as Philadelphia trailed, 45-27, at halftime.

However, the 6-6 swingman gave the 76ers their first lead at 89-88 by hitting a pair of free throws with one minute left. He then drilled a step-back 19-footer with 18 seconds remaining to give Philadelphia a three-point lead.

After Jarrett Jack missed an off-balance 3-pointer with nine seconds left that would have tied the score, Young made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line with five ticks on the clock to seal the victory.

Young finished with seven points and Williams, who totaled all of his scoring in the second half, were part of the comeback for the Sixers, who shot 51 percent (37-of-73) and outrebounded the Blazers, 43-30.

Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 25 points for Portland, which has lost all five of its road games this season and has dropped nine straight away from home dating to last season.

"We got lazy and we laid back with the ball," Aldridge said. "We weren't intense like they were and we lost tonight."

The Blazers, who shot 45 percent (32-of-71), were outscored, 39-15, to end the game.