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Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

Futility ends at 12 for 76ers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers played more like a playoff team than one mired in a miserable stretch of basketball.

News photo
Soaring again: Philadelphia's Allen Iverson goes up for a shot against Golden State on Monday. Iverson scored 20 points as the 76ers beat the Warriors 117-101. AP PHOTO

Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 14 rebounds, Allen Iverson scored 20 points and the 76ers snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 117-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Iverson was a rookie the last time the Sixers lost 13 straight in the 1996-97 season. He played the best game of his four-game second stint in Philadelphia to help avoid another unlucky 13-game skid on his resume.

The Sixers had all five starters and two reserves score in double digits.

"We felt like once we did get a win, it was going to be extremely hard, one of the hardest games to win," Iverson said. "It was totally opposite."

Iverson hit the 20-point mark for the second straight game a day after his having his left knee drained of fluid.

Young was sensational, using an 11-of-15 effort in the first half to give the Sixers a rare comfortable lead and an easy win.

Looking for a spark, 76ers coach Eddie Jordan benched power forward Elton Brand and paired rookie Jrue Holiday in the backcourt with Iverson. Jordan's move worked: Holiday had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 24 points.

Celtics 110, Grizzlies 105

In Memphis, Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo added 18 each as Boston won its 11th straight game.

Mavericks 94, Hornets 90

In Dallas, J.J. Barea scored a season-high 23 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored four of his season-low 10 in the final 59 seconds for the hosts.

Magic 106, Pacers 98

In Orlando, Dwight Howard overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points and 23 rebounds for the Magic.

T-Wolves 110, Jazz 108

In Salt Lake City, Jonny Flynn drove for the go-ahead layup with 3 seconds left as Minnesota beat Utah for the second time this season.

Deron Williams had a season-high 38 points and added 13 assists for Utah.

Nuggets 102, Thunder 93

In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points — his fourth straight game with at least 30 — and the Nuggets beat Oklahoma City for the fifth straight time.

Clippers 97, Wizards 95

In Los Angeles, Eric Gordon matched his season high with 29 points and hit his final free throw with 11.3 seconds left as the Clippers edged Washington.

Schedule ripped

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman criticized the NBA on Monday for setting up an "utterly ridiculous" schedule for his team that includes four back-to-back games over the next two weeks.

The Rockets face Detroit at home on Tuesday, then must fly to Denver to play the first-place Nuggets on Wednesday. They visit Dallas on Friday and return home to face Oklahoma City on Saturday — then have to play two games on consecutive nights twice more during Christmas week.

"We have a horrendous stretch here," Adelman said. "I don't know if the league really understands that they gave us four straight back-to-backs. It's awful."

Houston plays the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Dec. 22 and Orlando on the road on Dec. 23, followed by road games against New Jersey (Dec. 26) and Cleveland (Dec. 27).

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