76ers use 17-0 run to surprise Wizards; Butler suffers strained hip flexor

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- After watching the 76ers get off on the wrong foot, coach Maurice Cheeks had to know a comeback against the Wizards would be no easy feet, make that, feat.

With Cheeks sitting on the bench and suffering from gout, Philadelphia played a near-flawless fourth that helped their popular coach be able to kick his feet up and celebrate.

Andre Iguodala scored 20 points and Philadelphia stunned the Wizards with a 17-0 run late in the fourth quarter that lifted the 76ers to a 101-96 win on Tuesday night. It was Washington's fourth straight loss.

"That was a great win for us the way we stayed in there, the way we hung in there after getting down," Cheeks said.

The Sixers trailed by 12 early in the fourth and showed few signs of taking off on such a decisive spurt. Then the Wizards got sloppy, missing nearly every shot -- including all 10 3-point attempts -- and the scrappy Sixers capitalized with one of their more impressive comeback victories of the season.

"You get a steal here, a deflection there and it just kept going," Iguodala said. "We just kept making little things happen. We got a lot of hands on a lot of balls."

Rodney Carney's open dunk off a steal tied the score at 90 and Iguodala's layup at the 4 minute mark put the 76ers ahead 92-90. They would never trail again.

The dismal Sixers couldn't have been blamed if they were waiting for the other shoe to drop. After all, Cheeks coached his second game in two nights wearing only one shoe -- on his right foot -- because of gout. His left foot was grotesquely swollen, he walked with a limp and only briefly paced on the sideline.

"I saw his foot before the game and I was like, 'man, I'd never seen nothing like that before,'" Carney said. "He said it's not going to bother him. He's going to coach like he always does."

Instead of another collapse -- the Sixers blew a 20-point lead a night earlier in a loss at Atlanta -- Cheeks had to enjoy watching the Sixers put their best foot forward.

Carney dunked again off another steal -- the Wizards had 19 turnovers -- and Lou Williams sank a free throw that capped the spurt and made it 95-90.

"They went on a cold spell and they went on a cold spell at the wrong time," Carney said.

DeShawn Stevenson scored 19 points and Brendan Haywood had 18 for the Wizards. Caron Butler left in the third with a strained left hip flexor, the same injury that kept him out of three games last week.

Stevenson sank three straight 3-pointers in the third that helped the Wizards stretch their lead to 83-73 at the end of the quarter. When Antonio Daniels converted a three-point play for a 90-78 lead early in the fourth, the Wizards seemed on their way to snapping their losing skid.

Instead, they went a miserable 5-for-20 from the field and committed seven turnovers in the fourth. They missed 10 straight shots in one stretch that allowed Philadelphia to take over.

"We made feeble passes and missed shots," coach Eddie Jordan said. "We just crumbled."

The Sixers rallied without steady point guard Andre Miller. He had a season-high 14 assists, 11 points and no fouls in the first three quarters, then sat on the bench in the fourth as Cheeks wanted to stick with a hot lineup.

Miller said he was a bit puzzled why he was benched but, "the main thing is guys played hard and we got the win."

"I was in a flow," Miller said. "I was getting myself involved and everyone else involved. I was thinking maybe 7, 8 minutes, but they got on a little rhythm and it was coach's decision."

The Wizards briefly lost Stevenson in the fourth when he was injured in a collision with Sixers center Samuel Dalembert. As Stevenson drove the lane for a layup attempt, Dalembert swung an arm around as he tried to block out and accidentally crushed the Wizards guard in the throat. Stevenson was down on the court for a few minutes and held his throat as he walked to the locker room. He returned to the game for the final minute.

Thaddeus Young scored a career-high 17 points for the Sixers and Carney added 16.

Antawn Jamison had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards and Roger Mason scored 15.

"They turned up the heat and really challenged us when they were scoring well," Haywood said. "We just didn't hit shots down the stretch."

Mason capped a 13-2 run late in the second quarter with a 3-pointer that helped the Wizards take a 56-49 lead into halftime.

Game notes
The Sixers are exploring the possibility of moving their March 22 game against New Jersey to their former home, the Wachovia Spectrum. ... The Sixers shot a season-high 57 percent from the field. .... The Sixers are 6-26 when they've trailed by 10-plus points.