By Tim McManus
Andre Iguodala finished with 24 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, as the Philadelphia 76ers kept Phoenix from an historic feat with a 99-94 win at the Wachovia Center.
Willie Green scored 20 points and gathered six rebounds while Kyle Korver donated 16 points for the Sixers, who have won the first two installments of a six-game homestand.
"We were really aggressive tonight," said Iguodala. "We came out hot early and we were getting easy baskets. We kept up with them early and we happened to get some big stops. We just happened to get more runs than they did. We would get a spurt here or a spurt there, and get a few stops here and a few stops there on defense."
Amare Stoudemire had 31 points and 13 boards for the Suns, who were looking to become the first team ever to sweep its interconference road schedule (14-1). Regardless, Phoenix finished interconference road play with the highest winning percentage all-time. Steve Nash ended with 23 points and nine assists, and Raja Bell scored 13 against his old team.
"We just didn't pull it off," said Suns coach Mike D'Aantone. "Give them (Philadelphia) credit. Last night we did it and tonight we just didn't' do it."
Phoenix was playing from behind all game and trailed 80-69 with 9:45 left following a Korver slam, but rebounded with a 12-2 run to make things interesting down the stretch. Stoudemire had five points over that span, and a Nash jumper brought the road team within one with 5:40 on the clock.
A Leandro Barbosa three moments later knotted the contest at 84-84, but the Sixers had an answer. Andre Miller followed with a jumper to give the lead back to Philly, and Korver pushed the margin to four with a pair of free throws.
Barbosa responded with another three at the other end of the floor, only to see Iguodala counter immediately with a trey from the top of the arc to make it 91-87.
Then, after a Phoenix turnover, Samuel Dalembert hit a fadeaway with 28 ticks on the clock. The Sixers converted all six of their free-throw tries from there to seal the win.
"A win is a win, but certainly playing against the Phoenix Suns knowing they're coming in with 14 straight wins against Eastern Conference opponents is a big win for us," said Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks. "Phoenix, being as good as they are, we tried to come in and put the focus on winning. We've been trying to get ourselves into the routine of winning night in and night out - not just against Phoenix, but against other teams as well. Certainly playing against Phoenix is a big win for us."
Philadelphia quieted any thought of a Phoenix rout early, as it jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Miller scored the first four points of the charge, which Steven Hunter capped with a pair of free throws. The Sixers then finished the quarter with a 9-0 burst to assume a 35-23 lead.
The Suns cut their deficit to 49-44 at intermission and moved within one late in the third following five straight points by Nash. The Sixers again finished the quarter strong, though, scoring the last eight points to go up 73-64.