Final - OT
  for this game

Iguodala, Miller help Sixers extend Heat losing streak

Feb 24, 2008 - 5:07 AM By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- The misery continues for the Miami Heat.

The Heat suffered their 11th straight loss, falling in overtime, 101-96, to the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night.

Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller scored 24 points apiece for the Sixers (25-32), who grabbed sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference - one-half game ahead of the idle Atlanta Hawks (22-30).

"We had a sense of urgency there at the end," Iguodala said. "We were able to turn it around fast out of the timeout. We stayed focused and played hard."

The Sixers improved to 9-4 in their last 13 games with their sixth victory over Miami in the last seven meetings. It was their first overtime win in three attempts.

"We could easily have mailed it in, but we found a way to dig it out," Miller said. "We made some plays, got a couple of steals and came away with a big win."

Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks was impressed with his team's heart in the crucial closing minutes.

"It was a gutsy win," Cheeks said. "They put us down five and we hung in there. To come back and win this game was big for us."

Dwyane Wade scored 33 points on 11-of-23 shooting for the Heat, which had lost 26 of their last 27 games. Miami fell to 0-4 in overtime this season.

"We were playing great, but they got right back in the game," Wade said. "Basketball is all about runs, and they had the biggest one at the end."

Heat guard Ricky Davis scored the first five points in overtime, but Iguodala and the Sixers struck back with the last 10 en route to picking up a sweep of the season series.

"Tonight was a very good road win for us against a team that played very hard all night," Philadelphia guard Willie Green said. "We just kept fighting and fighting and never quit."

After Davis gave Miami a 96-91 lead with a 3-pointer from the right side, Philadelphia responded behind the play of Iguodala and the inept shooting by the Heat down the stretch.

"It's demoralizing. This one is more frustrating than the others because we had the game," Heat forward Shawn Marion said. "You fight so hard to get that kind of lead in OT, so you expect to win the game."

Miami coach Pat Riley was left shaking his head over this latest setback.

"We did everything we could to win, except win," Riley said. "We had a five-point lead with two minutes to go and it goes straight down to nothing."

The final run by the Sixers was highlighted by Iguodala's running layup while being fouled. He hit the free throw and also scored again with less than a minute remaining.

"You have to keep it together mentally in that situation," Iguodala said. "It's tough when you're down by five but we found a way to get it done."

Udonis Haslem, returning to action after missing nine games with a sprained left ankle, scored four points with less than two minutes left to put Miami ahead, 91-89, before Philadelphia sent it into overtime on a pair of free throws by Miller with 1:04 left.

Iguodala scored six points over a five-minute stretch to push his team ahead, 67-65, with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter. Miller's jumper with 22 seconds left deadlocked the game at 73-73 heading into the final quarter

Marcus Banks, who enjoyed his best game in a Heat uniform with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to match Miami 's biggest lead at five.

"It felt really good getting good minutes tonight and contributing," Banks said. "With me, it's all about repetition - getting on the floor and learning this offense (in Miami)."

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