76ers win as Suns continue to struggleMar 2, 2008 - 6:17 AM By Bob Huhn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PHOENIX (Ticker) - The Philadelphia 76ers finally found a way to win in Phoenix.
Andre Iguodala scored 32 points to lift the 76ers to a 119-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
Andrew Miller added 25 points and Willie Green had 17. Reggie Evans chipped in with 13 points and 13 boards for Philadelphia, which won in the Valley of the Sun for the first time since January 2, 2002.
"The way we played last night to come back against a team like Phoenix and play the way we played with the energy we have is huge for us," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "When you go on these road trips and you get blown out the first game, it tests you the second time around and it did. We really came out to play."
A 15-2 run gave the Suns a 79-76 lead with 1:01 left in the third quarter before the 76ers finished the quarter with a 7-2 spurt, capped off by Iguodala's 50-foot shot at the buzzer, giving the Sixers an 83-81 advantage after three.
"Andre hit the three and that gave us some momentum," Miller said. "We were mentally into it. Guys made free throws downs the stretch. It was a game of plays and who made the most plays."
Philadelphia blew the game open as it started the fourth on a 16-4 run to take a 101-87 lead. Iguodala, the former University of Arizona star, and Miller each had six points during that stretch.
"I think we kept our cool, kept playing and we got the win," Iguodala said. "For me I wasn't really attacking it and then Raja (Bell) got on me. He started giving me bumps here and bumps there and that kind of turned me into the game. It gave me a little more focus."
Despite having played Friday night - a loss at Golden State - Philadelphia came out of the locker room on fire. The 76ers shot 62 percent in the first quarter while holding the Suns to just 27 percent shooting en route to a 28-18 lead after one.
Phoenix fought back using a 26-12 run to take a 50-48 lead with 2:47 remaining in the first half on a Leandro Barbosa 3-pointer. Then the two teams exchanged buckets tying the game at the half, 54-54.
The Suns have won two of their last six contests since 35-year-old Shaquille O'Neal made his debut with the team on February 20.
"I think it's probably an understatement if I say we are struggling," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I think it just comes down to playing hard, playing with heart, playing with emotion, playing with urgency and we have not done it. And we will have to stop somebody. At some point, sometime we will have to play some defense."
The one constant during that stretch has been the play of Stoudemire. Going back to his natural position, the 25-year-old has averaged 30 points per game since the acquisition of O'Neal.
Stoudemire had 26 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which lost to an Atlantic Division team for the first time this season.
"We're not going to panic," Stoudemire said. "We are still going to make sure that we have some sense or urgency and we got to buckle down. It starts from the top to the bottom. All 13 guys have to be on the same page and we've got to get it done."
PHOENIX 114 FINAL
Mar 1 11:36 PM
PHOENIX 81 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 1 10:47 PM
PHOENIX 54 HALFTIME
Mar 1 10:07 PM
PHOENIX 18 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 1 9:36 PM
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