Andre Iguodala scored a career-high 31 points and had nine assists to help Philadelphia beat the Boston Celtics 98-83 on Friday night, just hours after the trade of their troubled superstar became official.
"It's a relief," said Samuel Dalembert, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds to help the Sixers to their first victory since beating Chicago on Nov. 24. "It's like carrying a big bag of potatoes, man, for a long time. It was crazy."
Iguodala topped the career high of 27 points he hit twice in the previous five games as the Sixers adjust to life since Iverson was banished on Dec. 8. Kevin Ollie had 14 points and eight of Philadelphia's 28 assists; the Sixers had just nine turnovers.
"We know that we don't have just one person that we can get the ball to and say, 'Do it,'" guard Willie Green said. "We've got to use each other."
Al Jefferson had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Gerald Green had 20 points and nine boards for Boston, which crumpled defensively without star Paul Pierce and guard Wally Szczerbiak. Usually upbeat Celtics coach Doc Rivers blistered his team for thinking selfishly.
"Not one single player in our locker room today thought how he was going to help us on the defensive end," Rivers said. "They thought about Wally and Paul's shots. ... This team without Wally and Paul has to be a great defensive team. If we're not, we're just going to keep losing."
The Sixers traded Iverson to Denver on Tuesday for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and a couple of first-round draft picks. The deal became official Friday when Iverson passed his physical between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET -- too late for Miller or Smith to be eligible to play the Celtics but just in time for Iverson to make his Nuggets debut in their 9 p.m. ET start.
Even without their two new players, the Sixers had little trouble with Boston.
They led by seven points at the half and as many as 11 in the third quarter before the Celtics cut it to four, 75-71, with 10 minutes remaining. But Kyle Korver answered with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, and then added another jumper.
The Celtics never got that close again, and Philadelphia scored the last eight points of the game -- six from Iguodala. The game in hand, the team gathered at center court for a subdued celebration.
"After 12 consecutive losses we were looking for the champagne when we came into the locker room," coach Maurice Cheeks said.
In addition to missing Smith and Miller -- and Iverson -- the Sixers were without Chris Webber, who sat out his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.
Pierce will miss two to three weeks with a stress reaction -- a soft tissue injury -- in his left foot and will not make the five-game West Coast trip that starts Tuesday in Denver. Pierce has missed just 12 games in his career; the Celtics are 3-9 without him.
Brian Scalabrine missed the first half with the flu. Szczerbiak has a sprained right ankle but is expected back to play the Nuggets.
- Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn, now a Celtics announcer, will skip the team's West Coast road trip because of back problems.
- With Green making his first start this season, this is the sixth lineup the Celtics have used.
- Boston had scored at least 100 against Philly in six straight games.