Sixers earn third straight win, roll past Rockets

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andre Iguodala and the suddenly successful Philadelphia 76ers gave one of the largest crowds of the season their money's worth for once.

The Sixers' only worry this week has been learning how to play with a huge lead instead of trying to rally against one.

Iguodala scored 16 points, Andre Miller had 17 points and 12 assists and the Sixers led by as many as 31 points in a 100-88 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

"I don't think about being up by 30, I think about playing good basketball," Iguodala said.

Not even Ed Stefanski, hired last week as team president and general manager, could have predicted a turnaround quite like this. The Sixers are on a three-game winning streak for the first time this season and used all sorts of new and unique lineups to throw off the Rockets.

Willie Green scored 20 points for the Sixers and Kyle Korver had 14.

"Nobody seems to be in a funk right now," Iguodala said.

The Sixers took advantage of a scheduling break to go on their first winning streak. The first two wins were against the New York Knicks, and the road-weary Rockets were playing their second game in two days after losing at Toronto.

The Sixers can make it four straight against the NBA-worst Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

"We've got to keep this up. We can't lay down," Iguodala said.

Tracy McGrady scored 12 points for the Rockets before leaving the game in the second half with a sprained right ankle. Bonzi Wells scored 24 points, Luther Head had 18 and Yao Ming 12. The Rockets played without Rafer Alston, out with a groin injury.

"They were quicker in every phase," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We didn't have any energy. We'll look at it and evaluate it. Everybody has to evaluate how they can do better."

Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said he planned to stick with his new game plan of expanding beyond an eight-man rotation, an idea that blossomed shortly after Stefanski was hired, and almost everyone played at least 10 minutes.

Yes, the score was one reason for the bloated minutes for subs like Rodney Carney. But rookies like Thaddeus Young and Jason Smith received substantial playing time in the first half and helped the Sixers take an early double-digit lead that was never really threatened.

The Rockets opened the fourth quarter on a 15-2 run that was about two quarters too late. They cut the deficit to 10 points with 1:50 left, but it really didn't matter at that point to the Sixers.

"We have to learn how to play with that type of lead," Cheeks said. "I hope we have a lot of them."

Samuel Dalembert, who grabbed 13 rebounds, set the tone early with his stiff rejection of a shot by McGrady that Iguodala quickly converted into a thunderous dunk on the other end.

The Sixers had another one for the highlight reel when Young surprised Yao and stripped him of the ball under the basket, passed the ball out to Miller who hit Korver for an open 3. That capped a 15-2 run and helped the Sixers take a 56-42 lead into halftime.

Miller swiped the ball midway through the third and dished to Iguodala, who went the length of the court for a breakaway, one-handed pump slam that stirred a rare enthusiastic crowd.

"I feel like we're playing with more energy and our defense has been there," Korver said. "We're finally scoring some points and if we're able to do that and still play solid defense, we're going to be OK."

The Sixers were active in the lane and created opportunities by grabbing loose balls and steals, pushed the ball up the court and scored quick, easy transition baskets. They outscored Houston 46-26 in the paint and scored 24 points off 23 turnovers.

Game notes
Sixers G Lou Williams (toe) sat out and was listed as day to day. ... Adelman said he wasn't going to rush Alston, their fourth-leading scorer, back into the lineup. "We want him for long run," Adelman said. "We don't need him to hurt it again." ... The Sixers scored 100-plus points in four straight games for the first time since December 2005.