for this game

Dalembert leads Sixers over Marbury, Knicks

Dec 8, 2007 - 4:53 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Hoping to use Stephon Marbury's tragic loss as a rallying point, the New York Knicks looked sluggish against one of the NBA's worst clubs.

Samuel Dalembert had 20 points and eight rebounds and Andre Miller added nine and 11 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers held off Marbury and the Knicks, 101-90, in the first game of a home-and-home series at the Wachovia Center on Friday night.

Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams netted 15 points apiece for the 76ers, who outscored the Knicks, 48-41, in the second half en route to snapping a three-game losing streak.

"We got a good start and that was the main thing," Williams said. "That was the biggest adjustments we've made. We came out and gave ourselves a chance to win a basketball game tonight."

It also was just the third win in the last 10 games for Philadelphia (6-13), which will play at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

"It's a little unusual," Sixers guard Willie Green said. "That's what is on our schedule. It was good for us to get this win tonight. We'll enjoy this one and try to steal another one (Saturday)."

Marbury, whose father Don passed away after attending last Sunday's loss to the Phoenix Suns at MSG, returned to the Knicks one day after the funeral in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn.

"It was the toughest thing that I've ever done," Marbury said. "This is something that you can't prepare yourself for. Everybody deals with it different. For myself, I'm getting through it. I have to continue to stay focused and stay in the positive light."

The former All-Star guard scored just two points in 13 minutes and did not play in the second half.

"I told him (coach Isiah Thomas) that I wasn't going to be able to play in the second half. I didn't want to hinder the team from having the chance to win I'm just drained right now. I haven't had much sleep in the last couple of days."

The entire New York squad attended the services with Knicks forwards David Lee and Malik Rose serving as pallbearers.

It was a rare moment of cohesion for New York, which has experienced a tumultuous season - including a rumored rift between Marbury and Thomas. Marbury even left the team briefly when Thomas told him he would not start in a game at Phoenix, flying back to New York in a huff.

"He had a lot of heart for coming out and playing tonight," Lee said. "Not just with the circumstances but with just being a little bit winded from having missed a couple of days."

All of this came after MSG endured an embarrassing sexual harrassment lawsuit this summer by a former employee - aimed at Thomas - which featured shocking testimony by Marbury.

But on the court, the Knicks had won four of their last six games entering Friday's play. They could not continue that success in this one thanks to poor shot selection and sluggish defense after halftime.

Jamal Crawford, who had 28 points on 11-23 shooting, scored New York's first 16 points in a ragged fourth quarter. Lee's layup with 1:44 left in the final period was the first basket but someone other than Crawford in the final 12 minutes.

The Knicks could not stop the surging Sixers, who took their biggest lead of the game on Dalembert's ferocious fast-break dunk to make it 94-80 with 3:08 left and effectively seal New York's fate.

"My presence can make a difference," Dalembert said. "I can't stay down, the other team will take advantage of that. You can't let them get comfortable and let them find their zone."

It was a back-and-forth game prior to the fourth.

Iguodala and Green scored four points in 10-3 third-quarter run by the Sixers that gave them a 63-52 advantage. But after a timeout, New York went on a 13-2 run to tie the game at 65-65.

But Williams got the Sixers a 68-65 lead with a three-point play with 1:50 to go, and a dunk by Dalembert pushed the lead to 70-65. Williams then sank both free throws with 3.1 seconds left to give the Sixers a 72-67 lead after three periods. Lee had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks.

"We kept it on them tonight," Iguodala said. "When they had their run, we put a stop to it before it got out of hand. And then we put together our own streak and we got a win."

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