Rockets Have Time To Recover From Burn Marks Left By 76ers

SB Nation Houston's coverage of the Rockets-76ers game on February 16th, 2010

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Sixers Torch Terrible Rockets Defense 114-105

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Andre Iguodala finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers matched their entire win total for the 2009-10 season, topping the Houston Rockets, 114-105, at Toyota Center.

Philadelphia is now 27-29, a drastic improvement from their dismal 27-55 record from last season.

Jrue Holiday finished with 20 points and eight assists while both Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young finished with 19 points off the bench. The Sixers have now won three of four overall and are only the second team in the NBA to match or surpass their 2009-10 win total before the All-Star break (New Jersey 17).

“Our guys are in great spirits entering the break,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “We are a good team and I tell them to remember that we are a good team.”

Kyle Lowry finished with a career-high 36 points to go along with seven assists for Houston. Luis Scola scored 26 while grabbing 13 rebounds as the Rockets lost for the third time in four games.

Philadelphia led by eight, 86-78, entering the fourth. The teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the quarter, and after a Scola layup at 7:49 the Philadelphia advantage was down to 92-88. However, Young then made 1-of-2 from the line to start a 7-0 Sixers run to create some distance.

Young’s dunk at 5:04 put Philadelphia up 11, and after a Holiday pullup jumper just over four minutes later the Sixers advantage was 107-96. Iguodala connected of 4-of-4 from the line down the stretch, and his pair from the stripe with 45.7 ticks remaining widened the Philadelphia advantage to a game- high 13.

The Sixers won their fourth straight game in Houston dating back to January 2008.

“I want our guys to keep thinking about what’s ahead,” Collins said. “What is ahead of us is opportunity. We have a lot of hope and that’s exciting.”

The game was tied 23-23 after a back-and-forth first quarter. The second quarter was close as well, with the Sixers’ lead never reaching above five. A Young driving layup with 2:50 remaining put Philadelphia up 50-45, and two Brad Miller free throws then made it a one-possession game.

The teams traded baskets, and the Rockets thought they had tied it entering the half with a Lowry three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining, however, that was enough time for Iguodala to get a shot off from 31-feet as the Sixers took a 55-52 lead into the break.

Holiday scored 12 of his points in the third quarter as Philadelphia widened is lead to 86-78 entering the final stanza. Scola led the Rockets with 14 in the quarter, however, the Sixers shot 54.2 percent from the field and led for the entire third.

Game Notes

Philadelphia has won six of its previous seven against Houston…Entering Wednesday the Sixers had lost 17 of their last 18 — including six straight — when allowing 100 points-or-more…Spencer Hawes added 17 point and 10 rebounds while both Elton Brand and Evan Turner finished with 10 points…Patrick Patterson scored 10 points in a reserve role for Houston.

Commiserate with fellow Rockets fans at The Dream Shake.


Rockets Host Sixers Looking To Go Into All-Star Break On A Winning Streak

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers hope to head into the All-Star break on a winning note when they invade south Texas this evening to take on the Houston Rockets.

The Sixers, who have won five of their last six against Houston, come into tonight's contest on a down note thanks in large part to an awful first quarter in Memphis on Tuesday. Philadelphia could only manage a season-low 10 points in the first frame against the Grizzlies and trailed by 16 after one en route to a 102-91 setback.

Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with a game-high 23 points in a reserve role, and Lou Williams added 18 points, five boards and four assists as the Sixers lost in Memphis for the first time since January of 2007 and fell to 1-1 on a three-game road trip. Elton Brand finished with 13 points and eight boards while Jrue Holiday posted 10 points and five assists in the loss.

"This is one of the most aggressive teams we've played just because the lineups they put in the game are so strong," Young said. "They try to outmuscle you and out-quick you to everything. Those guys just outhustled us."

The Sixers, who are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, have lost 17 of their last 18 -- including six straight -- when allowing 100 points-or-more.

Houston, on the other hand, improved to 1-2 on a four-game homestand Monday when Courtney Lee was one of seven Rockets in double figures, ending with a team-high 22 points behind five three-pointers, as Houston survived a slow start to down the Nuggets, 121-102.

The Rockets trailed by 13 after the first quarter, then proceeded to outscore the Nuggets by 33 points over the next two frames to pull away for the win.

Aaron Brooks tallied 18 points and fellow reserve Chase Budinger chipped in 15 to help end a two-game skid. Shane Battier totaled 17 points and five assists in the lopsided decision.

"We wanted to bring energy," Lee said of Houston's reserves. "Once you start to do that, you start having fun. And once you have fun, shots start falling and things start going your way."

Follow along live with fellow Rockets fans at The Dream Shake.

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