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Miller lifts streaking 76ers past Spurs

Mar 16, 2008 - 5:30 AM By Michael Luongo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Andre Miller keyed a late first-quarter run and was solid down the stretch as the Philadelphia 76ers continued their hot play with a 103-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

Miller scored a season-high 32 points and added seven assists and five rebounds. Andre Iguodala added 25 points and Samuel Dalembert had 10 and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which improved to 7-1 in March with the win.

The Spurs made a late push but the 76ers held on to cap off an impressive week. Philadelphia was playing its fifth game in seven days and improved to 4-1 during that span thanks to Miller.

"We're playing some good basketball especially this month," Miller said. "This has been a tough stretch because we're playing teams with above .500 records. We've held our own. Everybody is doing a good job."

"We've been doing a good job of holding on to our leads," Iguodala said. "That is something that we need to work on and continue to get better at. It shows signs of growth and how far we have come."

After Dalembert rejected Tim Duncan down low, Miller got in the lane and made a short jumper to put the 76ers on top, 96-88, with 1:56 to play. Miller then made four free throws in the final 40 seconds to help seal the win.

"I think that everybody did a solid job," Miller said. "Sam did a big job on Tim Duncan. It was a good team effort."

Tony Parker scored 27 points and Manu Ginobili added 22 for San Antonio, which has lost its last three games - all on the road. The Spurs have lost a season-high five straight away from home.

"You always rather win than lose," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I am more concerned with competing, learning and getting smarter. I think that we've done that in every game although the record does not show it."

"We never could get a run going," Ginobili said. "They played a great game, they did not miss a shot and they did not turn the ball over. Every time we got to within seven, they hit a big shot or we turned the ball over."

Miller scored seven points in the final 4:21 of the first quarter and put the Sixers ahead to stay.

Parker scored five points in a 9-2 run which gave San Antonio a 21-16 lead with 4:01 to go in the first quarter. Philadelphia answered by closing the quarter with a 12-2 run.

Miller began the run by scoring seven straight points. Rodney Carney capped the spurt by scoring the final five points with a 3-pointer and pair of free throws to give the Sixers a 28-23 lead after the first.

"I think that everybody knows that I can put the ball in the basket," Miller said. "When the opportunity is there, you've got to be more aggressive. My role is a little bit different that it was in Denver but, at the same time, I want to be aggressive and it's making everybody else better."

Louis Williams helped keep the Sixers ahead by double digits in the second quarter, scoring seven points in a 11-5 run, which helped pushed Philadelphia's lead to 41-29. Iguodala's layup with 4:50 to go pushed the Sixers' lead to 45-32 en route to a 53-45 advantage at the half.

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