Philadelphia, PA - Contributions from up and down the roster.
That's what Doug Collins envisioned during the preseason when he surveyed a roster devoid of superstars but deep with capable NBA rotational players.
Collins' vision hasn't played out all that often early in the season but it all jelled Tuesday as Philadelphia downed Portland, 88-79, in front of 13,556 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Elton Brand scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Andres Nocioni scored 11 on 3-of-3 shooting from long range. Jrue Holiday also added 11 points but fouled out after 23 minutes for the 76ers, who have won consecutive games for the first time since March 24-26, 2010 and have taken three straight on their home floor. Spencer Hawes chipped in with 10 points in the victory.
Wesley Matthews poured home a game-high 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, which has lost four in a row. All-Star Brandon Roy, who scored 21 points on Sunday, settled for just 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting in defeat thanks in large part to a lockdown defensive performance by Andre Iguodala. Portland scored just 11 points in the deciding fourth quarter and the 79 total points marked the first time that the Sixers have held an opponent under 80 this season.
"Confidence, it looks like," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said of his team's struggles."You're getting open looks but we are not knocking down shots. You've got to score in this league."
Former Sixer Andre Miller had eight points and nine assists.
"They played hard tonight," Miller said. "It was good to see the guys and say 'what's up.'"
Iguodala played nearly 42 minutes and Brand just over 36 but the rest of the nine Sixers that played toiled between 10 and 25 minutes as Collins and associate head coach Michael Curry mixed and matched beautifully.
Veteran Tony Battie continued to be Collins' closer in the middle, playing 10 minutes late and depositing two big buckets and giving the Sixers a solid defensive presence.
Iguodala only had seven points but took just four shots and was content to torture Roy at the defensive end.
"Andre Iguodala was spectacular," Collins said. "He was our ace of spades tonight even though he did not score many points."
The lone disappointment was rookie Evan Turner, who continues to struggle mightily, scoring just one point in nearly 20 minutes. In fact, Jodie Meeks got most of Turner's minutes late and proved to be much more active. Turner now has just seven points in his last four games.
*Hip-hop superstar Bow Wow was in attendance.