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Sixers fans embrace Miller, Smith in Philly debuts

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andre Iguodala is having fun again, thanks
to the arrival of Andre Miller.

Iguodala scored 20 points and Miller had nine points and 11
assists in his Philadelphia debut as the 76ers beat the New York
Knicks 98-77 Saturday night.

The 76ers have won two straight since the trade of Allen Iverson
finally became official, and Iguodala doesn't even mind embarking
on a seven-game trip beginning Tuesday at Golden State.

"When you have a player like Andre Miller getting you the ball
in the right spot, it makes playing enjoyable," Iguodala said.
"I'm excited about the trip and playing with Andre. Even though
we're on the road, we'll get to work together."

Iguodala's performance came one night after he scored a
career-high 31 points in a victory at Boston, ending the Sixers'
12-game losing streak.

Chris Webber had 18 points, Kyle Korver contributed 16 and
Samuel Dalembert had 11 for the Sixers (7-19).

Miller, fourth in the league with 9.1 assists per game, and Joe
Smith each played their first game for the Sixers since being
acquired for Iverson.

"I felt good out there," Miller said. "I'll get more
comfortable as we play more games. Tonight I just looked for the
guys and got players like Iguodala easy baskets. When you have a
guy like Andre who can finish like that, the game isn't that
complicated."

Jamal Crawford scored 21 points for New York, which had its
season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

Renaldo Balkman had 10 points and David Lee added his fifth
consecutive double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the
Knicks, who fell to 12-18.

"We didn't have enough gas in the tank," Knicks coach Isiah
Thomas said. "I was concerned we might be flat and we were flat."

The Knicks, still playing without three suspended players,
quickly cut into a 52-37 halftime deficit by scoring the first six
points of the second half. But the Sixers responded with a 7-0 run
-- two baskets by Webber and a three-point play by Dalembert -- for a
59-43 advantage.

Philadelphia extended its lead to 20 late in the third quarter
and led 75-56 at the end of the period.

Nearly five minutes into the fourth, Iguodala hit a 3-pointer,
pushing the Sixers' lead to 84-60. The Knicks never threatened
after that point. They shot 42 percent from the field and committed
20 turnovers.

"They gave me as much as they could," Thomas said. "I'm not
mad or upset."

The Sixers led by as many as 17 points in the first half on a
basket by Willie Green with 3:41 remaining. The Sixers shot 53
percent from the field and outrebounded the Knicks, 24-14.

Game notes
Miller and Smith received nice ovations from the crowd when
they entered the game at separate points in the first quarter. ...
Steve Francis returned for the Knicks after missing the past eight
games with tendinitis in his right knee. ... Webber started for the
Sixers. He sat out the previous four games with a right ankle and
foot injury. ... Green strained his right calf with 4:25 left in
the third quarter and did not return.