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Sixers take over in second half to rout Thunder

Nov 16, 2008 - 3:47 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After two hard-fought victories in a row for the Philadelphia 76ers, a meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder is just what they needed.

The Sixers used a dominant third quarter to take control and cruised to a 110-85 triumph over the Thunder on Saturday.

Thaddeus Young once again overshadowed the high-priced duo of Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala, leading the way with 23 points as Philadelphia increased its winning streak to three games.

"A lot of guys are playing me straight up for the simple fact that we have a lot of scorers on our team. They're trying to stop Elton and Andre (Iguodala) and I'm getting open a little bit," Young said. "Andre and Elton are our main two guys and we look to get the ball to them most of the time. We are just trying to play a compete game."

However, it was the combination of all three players that ultimately put the game out of reach. The trio combined for 23 points in a 29-11 run that lasted for most of the third quarter, turning a close six-point ballgame into a 77-53 blowout.

"We've been with each other since the end of the summer, and it's been a help," Young said. "We're going out there and just staying focused and (getting) a feel for how each other will play."

Point guard Andre Miller got things started on the defensive end, collecting steals on four of the Thunder's first six second-half possessions, leading to four easy buckets in a row. Iguodala - who came into the day hitting just 23 percent from the arc this season - followed with a 3-pointer and added a dunk moments later to push the lead into double digits.

"Our defense picked up in the early part of the second half and we created some turnovers," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We started to put out attention to detail. The second half of the game was solid in terms of pushing the ball up, playing defense and rebounding the basketball."

They exploited the soft middle of the Thunder's defense, repeatedly finding easy baskets in transition. After Brand missed a layup attempt, Samuel Dalembert followed with a tip-in to make it 71-53. One possession later, Brand dropped in a lay-in and then found Young for an alley-oop dunk seconds later as the game started to get out of hand.

"We got some stops. That makes our offense a little bit easier because we're a transition team," Iguodala said. "We got a chance to get out on a break and the guys got some easy baskets. We get a layup, then a free throw, and everything starts to open up for you."

After a competitive first half, everything fell apart for the Thunder - and reigning Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant was right in the middle of that. The 6-9 swingman turned the ball over three times in the first three minutes of the second half and missed 3-of-4 free-throw attempts in the third period.

"The third quarter, the turnovers just killed us. They had 14 points in transition," Thunder head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We did a decent job in the first half making them run the offense and making shoot perimeter shots, but in the second half, we played like a team that played their fifth game in six nights. We had some guys who couldn't score from four feet."

Three games removed from a season-best, 37-point outburst against the Indiana Pacers, Durant went just 6-of-18 for 13 points.

Brand and Iguodala chipped in with 15 points apiece, while Miller added six and nine assists as the Sixers got back to the .500 mark.

"It's important for us to continue to get better, win or lose," Iguodala said. "We know that we're capable of being a team that wants our record to reflect who we and how we are, and that is above .500. We need to continue to try to put the wins in."

Jeff Green led Oklahoma City with 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

The Thunder have lost seven in a row and their offense continues to sputter. In six of their 10 games this season, they have failed to hit the 90-point mark. They came into the night as the third-lowest scoring team in the league.

"The thing is that we're going through something that we are going to turn around," Green said. "It is going to take some time but we are going to pull it together. We are going to start on Monday and try to get a good start."

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