Iguodala flirts with triple-double as Sixers grab seventh straight win

NEW YORK -- Two buzzer-beaters one night. Another one Saturday on something resembling an alley-oop 3-pointer.

Andre Iguodala is on a roll, and so are his Philadelphia 76ers.

Iguodala had 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and the 76ers returned to .500 for the first time in nearly two months with their seventh straight victory, 107-97 over the New York Knicks.

The swingman gave Philadelphia the lead for good just before halftime when he leaped behind the arc to catch a high pass from a trapped Willie Green and tossed it in while in the air as time expired.

That came a night after he hit a 28-footer to end the first quarter and a 44-footer to end the first half in a 109-87 victory over San Antonio.

"Just seems like those have been going in, too," Iguodala said. "Those shots, the percentages are just evening out and the game's coming easy right now."

Andre Miller added 27 points and eight assists for the 76ers, making a pair of baskets in a 10-0 burst after the Knicks had closed within one with 5 minutes remaining. Lou Williams scored 15 points to help Philadelphia beat New York for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings.

Philadelphia (20-20) evened its record for the first time since it was 7-7 following a loss at Charlotte on Nov. 24. Iguodala has keyed the recent surge, scoring 20 or more in 11 of the last 14 games.

The key now is to keep it up when Elton Brand returns, which could come Monday when they host Dallas. Brand, who has missed the last 15 games with a dislocated right shoulder, is expected to practice Sunday and then be re-evaluated before the Sixers decide on his availability for Monday.

There's no guarantee they keep winning, because Philadelphia struggled to play at its preferred pace when its big offseason acquisition was on the floor earlier this season. The 76ers were only 11-14 when Brand went out, but are ignoring skeptics who aren't sure they can win with Brand.

"That's everybody else's problem," Miller said. "I think Elton has had the opportunity to sit on the side and watch how we're playing, how we're moving the ball, how we're forcing turnovers."

Al Harrington scored 26 points for the Knicks, who welcomed back Danilo Gallinari after a 2½ month absence while losing for the second time in two nights. Quentin Richardson added 19, and Wilson Chandler had 17.

"I thought we looked really good in the first half," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We just came out at the start of the second half, we just didn't seem to have the life that we had in the first half and we gave them a little bit of an opening and they took care of it."

Gallinari, the No. 6 pick in the draft, made his first appearance since the second game of the season and scored six points in 16 minutes. He missed the last 36 games because of a sore lower back.

The forward from Italy started the second quarter and played the next 4 minutes. He made a 3-pointer to a loud ovation, but also traveled and was way off on a reverse layup attempt.

He was much better in his second stint, nailing a 3-pointer, then setting up Harrington's second straight 3-point that cut it to 84-81 with 7:57 remaining.

"As you play more minutes you get more comfortable," Gallinari said after the first two field goals of his career. "You feel more confidence in the game."

The Knicks closed within one on another 3 by Harrington with 5:02 to play, but the 76ers put it away with 10 in a row, with Thaddeus Young's bucket making it 101-90 with 2:49 to play.

Young had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Knicks made nine of their first 11 shots before the 76ers rallied to take a 26-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. Philadelphia took a 52-50 lead into halftime on Iguodala's athletic 3-pointer, then finally got its running game going in the third quarter, getting a pair of layups in a 10-0 burst that turned a three-point lead into a 70-57 advantage with 2:51 remaining. Philadelphia led 77-66 after three.

Game notes
76ers coach Tony DiLeo said Brand would come off the bench when he returns, playing short stints. ... D'Antoni, who played and coached in Italy, laughed off an Italian journalist's comments in a New York Post story that the Knicks' decision to have Gallinari lift weights contributed to his back problems. "There's some stuff that comes out of Italy, I've been there. I know. You've seen his body, he hasn't been doing any weights," D'Antoni said. "We've got the best people that worry so much over our guys' health and they're doing everything possible and just his back for whatever reason just didn't respond ... to assess a blame here or blame there, that's nuts."