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Korver scores 26, helps 76ers hold off Celtics' rally

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers would have been happy with any win three months ago. Not anymore.

"A few months ago, we'd have taken this," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said as his team avoided a second-half collapse and beat the Boston Celtics 88-82 Friday night. "Now we expect a bit more."

Instead, they got just enough in an ugly game that saw 24 turnovers by each team, including five offensive foul calls and seven traveling violations each way. Kyle Korver scored 26 points and made four 3-pointers, his final one snapping a 73-73 tie with 5:06 left after the Celtics had rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit.

Andre Iguodala had 23 points and 12 assists, and Samuel Dalembert added 12 points and 13 rebounds -- and eight turnovers -- for Philadelphia.

Al Jefferson scored 20 points for the Celtics (22-50), who played without leading scorer Paul Pierce (left elbow). Boston is 2-23 this season without Pierce, who earlier missed 24 games with a left foot stress reaction.

Korver's tiebreaking 3-pointer came seconds after Boston's Delonte West went coast-to-coast for a layup. Jefferson followed with a jumper that got the Celtics to 76-75 before another bucket by Korver and a powerful dunk by Iguodala gave Philadelphia (29-43) some breathing room. The Sixers are 21-21 since Jan. 1.

"We didn't play well at all," Iguodala said. "We'll take the win out of it, but that's about it."

The Sixers held a slim early lead, as Iguodala had seven points and five assists in the first quarter. Louis Williams drained a 3-pointer from the corner to beat the buzzer and Philadelphia led 25-20 after one.

A pair of dunks by Iguodala, one off a pretty alley-oop from Louis Williams, keyed a 14-2 Philadelphia run as the 76ers extended their lead to 18 and settled for a 44-31 edge at halftime.

Boston shot 3-for-16 in the second quarter (19 percent) and made just one field goal over the final 10:37 of the first half. Korver finished with 14 first-half points, while Iguodala added 11 points with seven assists.

"It wasn't a pretty win at all," Korver said. "It was the kind of game where if you don't put your opponent away early, you let them hang around. They hit a couple shots and all of a sudden you have a close game."

A pair of free throws by Iguodala gave the Sixers a 67-52 lead with 1:37 left in the third quarter, but Boston scored the final six points of the period and carried that surge into the fourth quarter.

Leon Powe's free throws with 7:19 left in the game capped an 18-3 Celtics run and tied the score at 70. Philadelphia missed 12 straight shots and committed five turnovers to allow Boston back in the game.

"The bottom line is that neither team played very well tonight," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Nobody made shots and everyone was off. It was a sloppy game, and really, whoever was going to make the last run was going to win the game."

Game notes
Philadelphia is 9-5 in March, its first winning month since going 8-7 in January 2006. The Sixers last won nine games in a month when they went 9-7 in March 2005. ... The 76ers are 10-2 in their last 12 home games. ... Boston is 2-25 when scoring fewer than 90 points.