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.
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.