for this game

76ers finish perfect homestand by beating Grizzlies

Feb 14, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Michael Luongo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Andre Iguodala got off to a fast start and the Philadelphia 76ers finished their homestand with a perfect record.

Iguodala scored 20 of his 29 points in the first half to lead the Sixers to a 102-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

"I got into a good groove and got to the basket a few times," Iguodala said. "The first three baskets that I got were lay-ups and from there, things started to open up from the outside."

The win was the fifth in a row and capped a 5-0 homestand that featured victories over Washington, Miami, the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas.

"That puts us in a position where we can compete for spot," Iguodala said. "What we need to do is try to get better. We need to understand that there is always room for improvement."

Iguodala and Willie Green keyed a 12-0 run that gave the Sixers a 14-2 lead. Iguodala scored four points and Green added a pair of 3-pointers to give Philadelphia an early lead.

"We were focused to coming out and playing well in the first half," Green said. "We wanted to push our defense up against them and make them take tough shots. We really wanted to play with a sense of urgency."

After Mike Miller put Memphis to within 18-14 with a three, Iguodala answered with a three of his own to make it 21-14. His slam dunk with 38 seconds left in the quarter pushed the lead to 26-17.

The Sixers forward had 15 points in the first quarter as Philadelphia took a 26-21 lad after one.

Iguodala opened the second quarter with a basket that pushed the lead to 28-21 early in the second. After a three by Rudy Gay closed the gap to 30-27, the Sixers got a basket from Jason Smith and a three by Iguodala that put Philadelphia up 38-27.

Up 42-41, the Sixers closed the half with a 13-4 run capped by a long three pointer by Louis Williams that gave Philadelphia a 55-45 halftime lead.

"Winning four in a row, we didn't want to have a letdown," Williams said. "Andre Iguodala really led us by the way he got going in the first half. It feels good going into the break winning five in a row."

Iguodala opened the third quarter with his third 3-pointer of the game in a 11-0 run pushed the lead to 21 points. A basket by Samuel Dalembert gave the Sixers a 66-45 lead with 9:26 to go in the quarter and put the game out of reach.

"With a team like Memphis they are always scary because they keep playing and they nothing to loose," Iguodala said. "We didn't want to become the team that they came back on and got a win"

Green hit a jumper with 8:33 to go in the quarter that gave the Sixers a 22 point lead.

Dalembert had 16 points and Green added 11 for the Sixers who go into the All-Star break in the running for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It's a step in the right direction as an origination and as a team," Green said. "We're playing with a lot more consistency and we're fighting every game."

The loss provided a tough homecoming for Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni who was a rookie on the 1983 Sixers team that won the NBA championship 25 years ago. Philadelphia honored Iavaroni during ceremonies at halftime as part of season long events to mark the 25th anniversary of Philadelphia's last major championship.

"It was nice," Iavaroni said of the honor. "I've haven't been to any of the of the reunions except one so, it was nice of the Sixers organization and I'm humbled by it. Game wise, it was another tough challenge for us."

Gay and Hakim Warrick, who was born in Philadelphia, had 23 points for the Grizzlies, who lost to the 76ers for the fifth time in the last six meetings between the teams.

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