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Philadelphia at Atlanta

Iguodala, Miller propel 76ers to first playoff berth in three years

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- When the Philadelphia 76ers last appeared in the playoffs, Andre Iguodala was a wide-eyed rookie responsible for passing the ball to Allen Iverson.

Now, over a year after Iverson's trade to Denver, Iguodala knows the Sixers will depend on him in the postseason.

"We just need to act like we've been there before," Iguodala said. "We've all played in pressure situations. Now it's just going to be at a higher level. We are talented enough and have a lot of young guys who come out and play hard."

Iguodala scored 30 points and Andre Miller had 23 to help the 76ers wrap up their first playoff spot in three years with a 109-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Philadelphia, which stopped the Hawks' five-game winning streak, never trailed after Miller's layup made tied it at 67 with 3:09 left in the third.

Combining with Iguodala for 25 points, three assists, five rebounds and one steal in the fourth quarter, Miller was satisfied with holding off the Hawks' comeback from a 14-point deficit.

Atlanta was one of the few opponents to score 100 on the Sixers, who are now just 5-23 when allowing over 99 points. What mattered to Miller, though, was finding another way to win.

"It's been a lot hard work," Miller said. "We played some hard teams and could've easily slipped to the side. We're just playing good basketball right now. It's one of the better moments of my career."

Joe Johnson led Atlanta, with 32 points, but fell down and lost the ball on what appeared to be a damp floor while dribbling with 1:36 remaining.

The Hawks still have the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, three games over Indiana, which won at Milwaukee.

Iguodala, who also had 10 assists, drove the length of the floor for a layup banked high off the backboard that put Philadelphia up 103-96.

The Sixers have won two straight and 21 of 28. The teams will play again Saturday in Philadelphia, where the Sixers are 13-2 in the second game of back-to-backs.

That's not exactly the kind of scenario that Atlanta wanted before Friday's tip-off.

"We have to come out focused and not them hit us first like they did tonight," Johnson said. "We have to come out and be the aggressor, go up to Philly and get one."

Atlanta never got closer than an 88-all tie on Josh Childress' 8-foot runner with 6:36 remaining.

The Hawks were down 91-90 after Childress dunked in a putback at the 5:25 mark, but Miller pulled up for a 16-footer against Marvin Williams that started another Philadelphia run.

Iguodala, who hit a 3-pointer in the final second of the third to make it 77-74, came within three of his season high.

Mike Bibby had 11 assists, but he was just 1-for-11 from the field for Atlanta. Childress finished with 20 points in a reserve role.

"It's just one of those games where we played from behind the whole night," Childress said. "They played a good game. They hit shots, got loose balls, got rebounds and hit free throws. When they're doing all those things, it's hard for us to get a win."

Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks will insist that his players show no tendency to relax after earning a postseason spot. He doesn't have to look far to find motivation.

"The last time we were in this building, we were 18-30," Cheeks said. "To be where we are now is an incredible accomplishment. Our first step was to get to the playoffs. Now we have to turn that off and turn it back on tomorrow to try and get a better spot."

Notes

  • The Hawks dropped to 7-34 when entering the fourth quarter with a deficit.
  • Philadelphia improved to 9-6 against the Southeast Division, 3-4 on the road.
  • Atlanta was just 4-for-13 on 3-point attempts.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Andre Iguodala's 30 points and 10 assists help the 76ers earn a trip to the playoffs.  (AP)
Andre Iguodala's 30 points and 10 assists help the 76ers earn a trip to the playoffs. (AP)

Scoreboard
Philadelphia (39-37) «28232632109
Atlanta (35-41) 19272830104
PHI:A. Iguodala 30 Pts
PHI:S. Dalembert 10 Reb
PHI:A. Iguodala 10 Ast
ATL:J. Johnson 32 Pts
ATL:J. Smith 8 Reb
ATL:M. Bibby 11 Ast
Players of the Game
AtlantaPhiladelphia

J. Johnson

A. Iguodala
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
326830310
Philadelphia
A. Iguodala, SF459-1511-12310530
S. Dalembert, C436-103-3100215
T. Young, SF416-70-052312
A. Miller, PG409-215-556423
W. Green, SG215-113-431215
L. Williams, SG264-91-21309
R. Carney, SF151-32-22035
R. Evans, PF80-20-00010
J. Smith, PF30-00-00000
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
C. Booth, CDid Not Play
S. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
L. Amundson, PFDid Not Play
H. Hill, PFDid Not Play
Totals 40-7825-28292220109
 51.3%89.3% 
Atlanta
M. Bibby, PG401-110-031133
M. Williams, SF397-105-662119
J. Smith, SF396-140-085512
J. Johnson, SG3512-207-1068532
A. Horford, PF325-80-073210
J. Childress, SG327-104-542020
Z. Pachulia, C173-50-05016
A. Law, PG71-30-00212
S. Claxton, PGDid Not Play
S. Stoudamire, SGDid Not Play
S. Jones, PFDid Not Play
J. Richardson, SFDid Not Play
M. West, SGDid Not Play
Totals 42-8116-21393318104
 51.9%76.2% 
Other Games
Char 105 Final
Tor 100
NY 110 Final
NO 118
NJ 87 Final
Det 106
Mia 95 Final
Wash 109
GS 117 Final
Mem 86
SA 64 Final
Utah 90
Ind 105 Final
Mil 101
Min 88 Final
Pho 117
Dal 108 Final
LAL 112
Hou 79 Final
Sea 66