Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Elton Brand scored 18 points and Philadelphia stepped up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter to down Portland, 88-79, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Jrue Holiday donated 11 points as did Andres Nocioni off the bench for the 76ers, who have won consecutive games for the first time since March 24-26, 2010. Spencer Hawes chipped in with 10 points in the victory.
“It was just a great win,” said 76ers head coach Doug Collins. “I am so pleased with how our guys are playing defense.”
Wesley Matthews poured home a game-high 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, which has lost four in a row. Brandon Roy, who scored 21 points on Sunday, settled for just 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting in defeat.
“We are getting open looks, and we are not knocking down shots,” said Portland head coach Nate McMillan. “If you don’t score in this league, it is going to be tough to win. We got to put the ball in the hole.”
Portland scored just 11 points in the deciding fourth quarter, making only 4- of-20 shots and seeing a slim margin slip away. The Sixers took the lead for good at 74-72 on Holiday’s left-handed layup in traffic with just over six minutes to play, and Tony Battie’s layup moments later opened a six-point edge. The reserve big man converted another inside basket with just under three minutes to go and Nocioni’s trey gave the home team some breathing room, 85-76. The visiting Trail Blazers only got as close as six the rest of the way.
Neither team surged too far ahead in the opening quarter, going back and forth in the final three minutes with Williams’ free throw squaring the contest at 29-29.
The 76ers took a six-point lead, 42-36, thanks to six consecutive points capped by Nocioni’s corner trey with 6:31 to play in the half. Moments later, Aldridge started an eight-point spurt with an offensive rebound and putback. Miller’s driving reverse layup off a solid outlet pass from Aldridge finished off the burst for a two-point lead, 46-44, in the final minute.
Philadelphia scored the final three points to hold a slim 47-46 advantage despite shooting a scorching 56.3 percent from the floor. Portland combated the 76ers’ field goal percentage with 10 offensive rebounds and 18 points from Aldridge.
Andre Iguodala finished with just seven points, taking only four shots in nearly 42 minutes of game action for the 76ers…Philadelphia made 47 percent of its shots compared to 37 percent for Portland, which stayed close thanks to 15 offensive rebounds. Matthews is averaging 20.2 points over his last six games…Aldridge grabbed seven offensive rebounds and Dante Cunningham, who played his college basketball at nearby Villanova, swiped three as part of a six-rebound effort…Rudy Fernandez finished only 2-of-8 for five points in defeat…Philadelphia has won six of the last eight meetings between the two teams.