NBA Game Summary - Portland at Philadelphia
(Friday, November 16th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 92, Portland 88
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Lou Williams came off the bench to score 19 points and key a furious fourth-quarter comeback in leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 92-88 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Wachovia Center.
The Sixers, trailing by as many as 25 in the first half and 20 late in the third, didn't lead all night until Andre Iguodala's two free throws moved Philadelphia to an 89-88 edge with a minute remaining. It was part of a fourth quarter in which the Sixers outscored the Blazers, 36-15.
When Steve Blake fired an errant three-pointer, Iguodala gave the Sixers a three-point edge with a step-back jumper in front of Jarrett Jack with just 18 ticks on the clock. Jack's long-distance heave on the ensuing possession was off the mark, and when Thaddeus Young corralled the rebound, the Sixers' improbable victory was secure.
Iguodala finished with 22 points and seven assists, and Jason Smith had a career-high 12 points in 24 minutes while stepping in for the foul-plagued Samuel Dalembert. Young scored seven points and pulled down five boards in just 15 minutes, but was on the floor for the entirety of Philadelphia's late surge.
Williams played only 25 minutes himself, but in one stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters, scored 14 straight Sixers points. He hit 8-of-13 shots from the floor and also had three steals in helping his team end a four- game skid.
"I've never been involved in a game like that and what it says is that our guys know how to stick together and they know how to bond," said Sixers head coach Maurice Cheeks. "We just hung in there, we stayed together and it just says something about the character that they have and it says something about preparing."
Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge each finished with 25 points for Portland, which held the Sixers to a 27 points in the first half, tying their low at the Wachovia Center, and seemed on its way to a stress-free victory.
Martell Webster had 10 points and Blake scored six to go with six assists for the Blazers, who have lost two straight on the heels of a four-game win streak.
"Games like this let you know that if you scrap and if you work hard at the game anyone can win," said Portland head coach Nate McMillian. "It's a 48 minute game. We tried to play this game 24 minutes, maybe a decent 36, not a 48-minute game. It just shows that you have to work 48 minutes to win a game."
The Sixers big 21-4 run headed by Williams and rookies Smith and Young to claw their way back into the game. They pulled within one on a number of occasions, including at 83-82 with just over three minutes to go.
Roy canned a three-pointer with Willie Green defending closely, and after Williams answered with his own triple, Aldridge slammed off a pick-and-roll with Jack to make it 88-85 with 1:45 on the clock.
Iguodala converted a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game again. Webster misfired on a three at the other end and then compounded it by fouling Iguodala in the backcourt to give the Sixers the opportunity to take the lead - their first of the game - at the foul line.
The Sixers had nine first-quarter turnovers and Dalembert picked up two quick fouls, leading to a 21-14 Portland edge after the first.
The Blazers then took advantage of a horrific offensive stretch by the Sixers to score 17 unanswered to begin the second quarter. Philadelphia missed its first 13 field goals of the stanza, and did not score until Reggie Evans' lay- in more than eight minutes into the stanza. By that point Portland held a 38-16 lead. It became 41-16 after a three by Blake.
A mini 11-2 spurt in the final four minutes got the Sixers closer, but the Blazers still held a 45-27 cushion at half.
Portland was a little less stingy defensively in the third, but was no less efficient on the offensive end and maintained a 17-point edge, 73-56, heading to the fourth that could have been more if not for Williams' buzzer-beating three at the end of the period.
Williams' one-man scoring spurt pulled the Sixers within 73-60 early in the final period, and Philadelphia continued to combine defensive stops with clutch buckets from its young reserves on its way to erasing the lead.
The 21-4 run ended when Williams' layup drew the Sixers within 77-74 with 6:50 remaining.
The Sixers were without forward Kyle Korver, who aggravated a groin injury and did not suit up...Andre Miller had 13 points for the Sixers, while Dalembert finished with just two and one rebound in a little more than 10 minutes...Portland was without forward James Jones, who is nursing a knee injury.
11/16 23:26:50 ET