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Sixers rally back to upend Sixers

Mar 8, 2009 - 5:59 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies hung tough, but the Philadelphia 76ers finally surged ahead, escaping with a 110-105 victory on Saturday night to keep their playoff chances strong.

The Grizzlies led by four with just under five minutes to play, but the Sixers engineered a 10-2 run to storm back ahead and hung on. Louis Williams buried a pair of free throws to halve the deficit and Andre Miller went 1-of-2 from the line to pull Philly to within one.

"We can't really drop games like this anymore," Williams said. "We realize that we have to put ourselves in the best position possible. We're not trying to have any lapses, guys are trying hard and I think we're focused."

Williams found Andre Iguodala for a dunk, but Memphis guard Mike Conley answered with a bucket of his own to put the Grizzlies back on top.

"We turned the ball over a couple times down the stretch. It really turned the momentum," Conley said. "They got two or three points late in the fourth quarter and they got their momentum back off turnovers. ... We can't make mistakes like that down the stretch."

Williams took the reins from there, burying back-to-back jumpers - including one from long range - to open a 99-95 lead for the 76ers.

"I had a meeting with coach, and he told me coming down the stretch he wanted me to be a little more aggressive on the offensive end," Williams said. "I'm a scorer at heart, so he just wanted me to be just a little more aggressive, and we opened up some opportunities and I took them."

Iguodala put the finishing touch on the comeback with 35 seconds on the clock, draining a 3-pointer to extend the lead to seven and put the game out of reach.

The Sixers pulled back to the .500 mark with the win and pulled to within a half-game of sixth-place Detroit (31-30) in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They hold a 2 1/2-game edge over No. 8 Chicago (29-34).

"We just needed to get a win to get a win," Iguodala said. "Tonight wasn't an easy win. We didn't play our best, but we got a win. We were fighting, and it was good to win."

Philadelphia had more than enough scoring options, with six players reaching double figures. Iguodala led the way with 24 points, while Miller fell just short of a triple-double, collecting 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

"Our defense was pretty good down the stretch," Philadelphia interim coach Tony DiLeo said. "You know, we're happy with the win. We did some good things - fast-break points were good. We weren't completely thrilled with our defense through the first three quarters, but coming down the stretch it was good."

Conley led the Grizzlies with 31 points and rookie center Marc Gasol added 30 and 13 boards.