SEATTLE -- Louis Williams is starting to gain confidence and show his potential with Philadelphia.
The 21-year-old Williams scored 19 points, including going 12-for-14 from the free-throw line, to help the 76ers hold off the injury-depleted Seattle SuperSonics 98-90 on Monday night.
"He hasn't been as aggressive as we would have liked," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said of Williams. "Tonight was the case of him driving the ball and getting to the foul line a little more. This is a game that hopefully turns it around for him."
Williams, taken in the second round in 2005 out of South Gwinnett (Ga.) High School, has shown slow but incremental improvement each year. He's enjoying a larger role with the team this season, averaging 10.2 points, up from 4.3 last season.
"That's what is expected of me, getting to the hole, making some plays and getting to the line. Hopefully, I can keep it rolling," said Williams, who scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter. "It's tough when you're having games when you're not shooting the ball very well and you're not getting the fouls called and you kind of go back in your shell. But when you have a game like this and I get back in my rhythm, it's good for me and good for my confidence."
Andre Iguodala led the 76ers with 25 points.
The Sonics played without their top two scorers. Rookie guard Kevin Durant, who is averaging 19.7 points, was out with a sprained left index finger. Second-leading scorer Chris Wilcox has a sprained left knee. Both had started all 30 games this season.
Earl Watson led the Sonics with 18 points. Rookie Jeff Green added 16.
Without their top scorers, the Sonics still had a chance to pull out the game. Seattle came within 89-86 on a 3-pointer by DeLonte West with 2:51 left.
Philadelphia answered with a 7-2 run capped by Igoudala's 20-footer with 26.9 seconds left to seal the victory.
"You could sense that they weren't going to quit," Iguodala said. "But for the past couple weeks we've been playing pretty good basketball so I felt good that we were going to finish the game off the way we're supposed to."
The Sonics began gathering momentum midway through the third period, narrowing a 13-point lead to 52-45 with 7:55 left in the period. The Sonics kept it close, getting within eight, 70-62, on a 10-foot runner by West with 14 seconds left. But Iguodala hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 73-62 lead.
"I thought we came out in the second half and played well but we dug too deep of a hole," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It took us a while to find guys who wanted to compete on both ends of the floor. We finally got a pretty good group out there a couple of times. We dug a hole and they had to make every shot."
Gordon Giricek made an impact in his first court appearance since being traded to Philadelphia from Utah on Saturday. He hit his first shot with 10:35 left in the second to give the Sixers a 25-23 lead, their first lead since 2-0. Giricek played 14 minutes and scored six points.
The Sonics were held to a season-low 11 points in the second quarter. They shot 23.8 percent (5-for-21) in that period. The Sixers outscored them 25-11 to take a 46-34 lead at the half.
Carlesimo said that if the injury to Wilcox keeps him out longer than anticipated, the club might consider bringing Mouhamed Sene back from the NBDL. "It would be something we'd need to look at." ... The absence of Durant and Wilcox did not come as a surprise to Sixers' coach Maurice Cheeks. "We saw that he went out in the first quarter and didn't come back," he said. "So we were just going to wait and see, but we prepared like they were playing." ... Philadelphia has won five of the past six meetings in the series.