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Iguodala, Sixers rout sluggish Knicks

Dec 24, 2006 - 6:14 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After going on one of the worst losing streaks in franchise history, Andre Iguodala and the Philadelphia 76ers look like a totally different team.

Iguodala scored 20 points and Chris Webber collected 18 points and nine rebounds as the 76ers took advantage of porous defense and sloppy play to rout the sluggish New York Knicks, 98-77, for their second straight win.

In their Philadelphia debuts, Andre Miller had nine points and 11 assists and Joe Smith added four points and seven rebounds for the Sixers, who shot 47 percent (36-of-77) from the field in their first game at full strength since trading superstar Allen Iverson to Denver on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of talent," Miller said. "(Iguodala) is an athletic player and anytime that I can play with a shooter like (Kyle) Korver, it helps my game. I felt pretty good. I got in and moved the ball around. I'd thought that I would be out of shape, but I had a little energy.

"I just had to make the easy passes. I just did what I normally do. It wasn't too much different than in Denver. I made some passes just to see if they were ready for them. I think that it's going to be fun for everybody."

Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks felt Miller positively affected the way the team played on Saturday.

"I think that you can see the advantage of having a point guard out on the floor," Cheeks said. "It helped our offense and our defense. We had 25 assists and that is the result of our team playing team basketball."

Prior to Friday's 98-83 win over Boston, Philadelphia had lost 12 games in a row and dropped all seven contests without Iverson. However, Iguodala has energized the Sixers in their brief winning streak. After scoring a career-high 31 points on Friday, he shot 6-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the arc one night later.

"We've put together two games of solid four quarters," Iguodala said. "Our counter-punches have been coming as far as teams making their run and us stopping them before they get out of hand.

"I'm feeling real comfortable out there. (Saturday) was the easiest 20 points I've had. I credit it to not having to work that hard for my baskets because (Miller's) in there and he was looking for me. He was telling me where to be at and he would find me."

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points and David Lee added 10 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which shot 42 percent (34-of-81) and committed 20 turnovers.

"I don't want to blame it on (lack of energy)," Lee said. "Philadelphia came out and played well. I think it was pretty evident that they were beating us down the floor a couple of times. We didn't play as crisp offensively or defensively as we have been."

The Knicks had their season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

"It is disappointing because we were moving in the right direction," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "I still think we're moving in the right direction. It's just a little setback here. Nobody likes to lose games around here or anywhere for that matter. Disappointing one, but we'll go take two days for Christmas and will be ready for Detroit."

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