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Iguodala, Dalembert help 76ers earn fourth straight win

Dec 13, 2007 - 5:55 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The fans at the Wachovia Center had to sweat it out, but the Philadelphia 76ers had them leave smiling.

Andre Iguodala collected 25 points and eight rebounds and Samuel Dalembert added 18, 11 and a season-best nine blocks as the 76ers extended their winning streak to four games with a 98-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

It was Philadelphia's longest undefeated streak since putting together seven straight wins from February 26-March 10.

"It's better than a four-game losing streak," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We're just trying to go out there and compete every night."

Minnesota veteran forward Antoine Walker buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cap an aggressive 15-4 surge, snapping an 86-86 tie with 5:28 left in the fourth. It was the Timberwolves first lead since early in the first.

"That's kind of been the story for us all season," Walker said. "Unfortunately, we played well enough to win the game. We're a much better team than our record indicates."

Iguodala sank a pair of free throws and Andre Miller found Dalembert for an easy basket to help the Sixers take a one-point lead.

But Walker split two from the line to lock things up again. He finished with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting off the bench.

Willie Green's 23-foot jumper gave the Sixers the lead for good on the ensuing possession. Minnesota's Rashad McCants had a chance to tie the game again but made just the second of two free throws with 2:05 left.

After trading baskets, Iguodala connected on a long jumper as Philadelphia pushed its advantage to 96-93 at the 1:23 mark.

"We had some games early in the year where we couldn't finish it out," Iguodala said. "I just happened to step up."

"It was a grindout game," Cheeks said. "I thought we tried to separate ourselves in the game, and we just couldn't get a lot of separation."

The Timberwolves still had an opportunity to close the gap, but Marko Jaric nailed only 1-of-2 foul shots and Dalembert blocked Al Jefferson's attempted layup with seven seconds to go.

"(Dalembert) was real big for us," Green said. "We expect him to block every shot. He can wipe away a lot of mistakes that we make on the perimeter."

"The whole game, (Jefferson) had been trying to go (to his) right," Dalembert said. "At the end, I knew that he was going to go right and they might call a foul on me, so I let him go right."

But Minnesota coach Randy Wittman thought Jefferson was fouled on the play.

"I thought there was some contact, but the referees didn't call it," Wittman said. "Dalembert got a finger on it and deflected it, so it is what it is there."

Jefferson had 22 points and 11 boards and Sebastian Telfair handed out a season-high 10 assists for Minnesota, which fell to just 1-9 away from the Target Center.

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