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Sixers Success At Home Continues With Win Over Jazz

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three nights ago, a pair of crushing four-point plays hurt the Philadelphia 76ers. On Saturday, it was an unusual five-point play which made the difference for the Sixers.

Andre Iguodala scored 22 points, Lou Williams added 20 and the Sixers defeated the slumping Utah Jazz 96-85 on Saturday.

Elton Brand added 19 for the Sixers, who snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the 12th time in the past 15 games at home. Spencer Hawes grabbed 11 rebounds.

“It doesn’t give us back the Orlando game, but we’ll take it,” Brand said, referring to Wednesday’s 99-98 overtime loss to the Magic in which Philadelphia blew a four-point lead with 22.1 seconds left in regulation.

“Yeah, I’d say we were due one back. It was a big sequence in this game.”

Philadelphia also improved to 13-7 at home, eclipsing last season’s 12-win total.

“It was a great win for our guys,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said.

Deron Williams had 20 points and 14 assists for the Jazz (27-17), who dropped their fourth in a row on their five-game road trip. It’s their longest losing skid in slightly more than a year.

During the trip, Utah had lost at Washington, New Jersey and Boston. The final leg will be Tuesday at the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’ve lost our focus,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “I think we’re feeling sorry for ourselves.”

Williams scored just five points in the 24-point loss at Boston, breaking a string of 48 straight games scoring in double figures.

Al Jefferson had 19 points and 13 rebounds while Paul Millsap had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Utah.

Andrei Kirilenko — who was benched in favor of rookie Gordon Hayward to start the game — had 12 points.

The Jazz had won nine of the past 10 games against the Sixers.

“We had moments when we played decent, but they controlled the game all night,” Sloan said.

Philadelphia held a seven-point lead after the third quarter and quickly extended it to 78-66 early in the fourth.

Utah got within 78-71, but the Sixers responded with a 3-pointer by Iguodala along with being fouled by Raja Bell.

After Iguodala missed the free throw for a potential four-point play, Brand tipped it in for the rare five-point play.

“It was huge, getting the five-point play,” Brand said. “We’ve lost games in ridiculous ways this season. We got something going in our direction.”

Jrue Holiday then knocked down a pair of free throws for an 85-71 lead with 6:07 remaining.

The Jazz never got within nine the rest of the way.

The Sixers led 43-30 but Utah closed the first half on an 11-4 run. Williams hit a 25-foot 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to bring the Jazz within 47-41.

Notes: Utah coach Jerry Sloan is in his 23rd season as coach of the Jazz. During that span, the Sixers have employed 13 coaches. There were 14 lead changes. The Sixers are 15-12 since starting the season 3-13. Deron Williams was whistled for a technical in the final minute.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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