NBA Game Summary - Philadelphia at Houston
(Wednesday, January 28th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 95, Houston 93
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Elton Brand finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and a season-high six blocks, as the Philadelphia 76ers erased a double-digit deficit to edge Houston, 95-93.
Andre Iguodala had a team-high 20 points, while Lou Williams added 17 points and six assists for the Sixers, who swept the two-game season series with Houston for the second season in a row. Philadelphia also topped Houston on January 6, at home.
Andre Miller had 16 points and seven assists for the Sixers, who have won two of three overall.
Tracy McGrady recorded 24 points, six assists and five rebounds for Houston, which has dropped two in a row and three of its last four contests. Luis Scola ended with 18 points and 10 boards for the Rockets, while Yao Ming added 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Rockets led by six at halftime, and shortly into the third quarter built up their lead with a nine-point burst. Scola had two baskets, and McGrady had a dunk and a three-pointer that ended the run, giving Houston a 65-51 advantage with about 7 1/2 minutes left.
Houston continued to lead, but a Marreese Speights layup and Iguodala three- pointer closed out the frame, trimming Philadelphia's deficit to 76-71 heading to the fourth.
The Sixers inched closer to evening the game four minutes into the final stanza, when back-to-back baskets from Speights and Thaddeus Young brought the visitors within 82-79. After a number of failed possessions for each team, Young got another layup to make it a one-point contest.
The teams traded baskets down the stretch, and two free throws each from Williams and Miller put the Sixers on top, 87-86, with just under five minutes left.
Rafer Alston countered with a three-pointer with 4 1/2 minutes left, but it was Houston's only points for nearly 3 1/2 minutes. The Rockets missed five shots in the span and had another blocked, while the Sixers scored six points.
Brand's basket, Miller's two free throws and Iguodala's long two-pointer gave the Sixers a 93-89 lead with just over two minutes left. Ron Artest then missed a shot, and the Sixers recovered, but a botched possession gave the ball right back to Houston. Alston missed a three and McGrady missed another shot, and the Sixers used their foul to give with 1:05 on the clock.
Off the inbound, Yao got the ball in the lane and got under Samuel Dalembert for a lefty hook, bringing the Rockets within two. Philadelphia called timeout with 48.2 ticks left, and coming out of that Iguodala dribbled around the arc looking for a shot.
He settled on a high-arcing shot over Yao that went through the net, putting the Sixers up 95-91 with 36.7 seconds remaining. On the ensuing Houston possession, Yao was fouled on his nifty basket in the paint, but missed the foul shot and the Sixers got possession with 28.0 ticks left.
"We always have that fight in us," said Iguodala. "We keep going until the clock is at zero. Our defense was better in the second half. We had too many turnovers in the first half."
Philadelphia held for a late shot, but Iguodala's miss led to a Rockets possession with 5.8 left. However, Dalembert got a piece of McGrady's three on the other end, as the Sixers held on for the win.
"We tried to play pick and roll and to put Tracy and Yao on it and whatever we could get out of it would be good because we needed a two or a three (pointer)," said Scola.
Philadelphia held a 27-26 edge after the first quarter, though the Rockets battled back to take a 51-45 halftime lead.
The Sixers had a season-high 14 blocks...Houston made 41.1 of its field goals, including 8-of-20 from three-point range...Philadelphia made 45.7 of its shots, but only 1-of-12 beyond the arc...The Sixers made 20-of-21 free throws, while the Rockets made 11-of-16.
01/29 00:58:44 ET