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76ers rally from 11 down, top Celtics

The Baltimore Sun

The Philadelphia 76ers are closing in on a playoff berth, and now they also have a record they can be proud of.

Andre Iguodala scored 10 straight points during a 19-0 run that brought Philadelphia back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit last night as the 76ers beat the Boston Celtics, 95-90, to move above .500 for the first time this season.

"It shows how hard we've worked to get back," said Iguodala, who finished with 28 points. "But I think we still have to have that mentality like we're a team that's still under .500 and still fighting.

"It's not over yet. We've gotten to a point where we want to be, which is over .500, but we still don't have an 'X' by our name" to signify a playoff berth.

Eddie House's three-pointer gave Boston an 80-69 lead with 8:20 to play, but the Celtics didn't score again until Paul Pierce hit a free throw with 1:38 left. By that time, the Sixers were on their way to their 18th win in 23 tries, improving to 36-35 and moving into postseason contention.

The Sixers won just five of their first 18 games and were 18-30 seven weeks ago. But with last night's win, they pulled ahead of the Toronto Raptors and into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind the fifth-place Washington Wizards.

Beating the top team in the NBA also gave them a jolt of confidence.

"It's huge when you come in here and win a game like this against Boston. It does a lot for us," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We still have a long way to go. This is just one step to try and get to where we want to be."

Andre Miller scored 20 points, Thaddeus Young had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 12 rebounds for Philadelphia.

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points for Boston, which lost its second straight game after winning 14 out of 15.

Nets 106, Knicks 91 -- Vince Carter scored 27 points and Richard Jefferson added 26 as visiting New Jersey moved within one game of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the victory over New York.

Nuggets 120, Grizzlies 106 -- J.R. Smith scored 27 points, Allen Iverson had 26 and Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) finished with 23 as visiting Denver used a big second half to defeat Memphis.

Pistons 110, Suns 105, OT -- Chauncey Billups scored nine of his 32 points in overtime to help host Detroit end Phoenix's seven-game winning streak. With Richard Hamilton out, rookies Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo stepped up for the Pistons

Rockets 108, Kings 100 -- Rafer Alston scored 28 points and Tracy McGrady added 17 as Houston beat visiting Sacramento to give former Kings coach Rick Adelman his 800th career victory.

Heat 78, Bucks 73 -- Chris Quinn, filling in for an injured Jason Williams, scored a career-high 24 points to lead host Miami past Milwaukee.

SuperSonics 97, Trail Blazers 84 -- Kevin Durant scored 23 points and host Seattle ended its 11-game losing streak.

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