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Sixers stay hot with narrow win vs. Clippers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Lee Nailon was startled when he saw the sizable crowd in front of his locker that left him less room to
move than when he's trapped in even the toughest double team.

"Y'all don't want to talk to me some other days," Nailon playfully shouted to the media.

Well, Nailon hadn't had a day like this in his short stint with Philadelphia.

Allen Iverson had 28 points and 10 assists and Nailon added 21 points to help the 76ers win their fourth straight game, 113-108 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.

After a three-game losing streak to open the season, the Sixers are in first place in the underwhelming Atlantic Division. With their next two games a home-and-home against winless Toronto, Philadelphia doesn't want to waste its chance to start a nice
early-season roll.

"In our conference, in our division, we should have a goal of the championship," said Chris Webber.

Nailon was a pleasant surprise off the bench for the Sixers. He hadn't scored more than eight points in a game this season and failed to provide the offensive punch that was expected. He took a nice mix of shots from mid-range to under the basket -- including a
strong dunk off an Iverson miss -- and made up for an ineffective Webber (13 points, 4-for-17 shooting).

"When I get a chance to score, I'm going to try to score," Nailon said.

Nailon showed what kind of offensive threat he can be when given a chance with the Hornets last season when he started a career-high 51 games and averaged a career-best 14.2 points. Nailon, though, wanted to win and he wasn't going to find that with the Hornets.

The journeyman forward signed with the Sixers, hoping to make the playoffs even though it meant a return to the bench.

"I averaged 14 last year and it's tough coming off the bench," he said. "I had to adjust myself and kind of figure out my role. I think I've got my role now."

John Salmons scored 14 points, Andre Iguodala had 13 and Kyle Korver made three 3-pointers and had 11 points to give the Sixers six players in double figures. But it was Nailon's production that caught the Clippers by surprise.

"Nailon made shots and we didn't get to him like we should have," said coach Mike Dunleavy. "He hurt us."

Elton Brand had 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, Cuttino Mobley added 23 points and Corey Maggette had 20.

Los Angeles, which missed a chance to start 6-1 for the first time in franchise history, got as close as 88-86 early in the fourth on Maggette's 3-pointer.

Iverson hit a jumper and then had a steal and drew a foul on a crashing layup. He sank the shot from the line and got the lead back to nine. Nailon later added a pump fake under the net and scored the easy basket for a 101-88 lead.

Maggette pulled the Clippers to 105-100 on a three-point play with two minutes left, but 20 turnovers and 7-for-20 3-point shooting cost them.

"Shot selection and turnovers kept us from winning the game," Dunleavy said.

Webber, Iverson and Salmons sealed the win with free throws down the stretch in a game that saw 70 foul shots attempted. The Sixers went 27-for-32, and the Clippers were 31-for-38.

Mobley, a Philadelphia native, made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second quarter to cut away at the Sixers' 14-point lead. Iverson, though, whipped a sidearm pass to Salmons, who hit a 3 as time expired to push the lead to 10 at 60-50 at halftime.

Game notes
Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks expects center Michael Bradley to return by the end of the week. Bradley, who has not played this season, had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. ... Sixers center Steven Hunter briefly left the game in the third after he was poked hard in the right eye. He had a corneal abrasion and facial laceration.