Dominant in fourth, 76ers beat Kings for third straight win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Things are going so well right now for the Philadelphia 76ers that they are winning even when they aren't playing well.

Samuel Dalembert had 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the 76ers, who pulled away in the fourth quarter of a sloppy game for their third straight victory, a 92-80 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Tied after three quarters with the slumping Kings, the 76ers scored seven straight points to build a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter and never trailed again.

Andre Iguodala ignited a 10-0 run with a spectacular dunk off a fastbreak, a driving layup and added a 3-pointer as the 76ers went ahead 88-73 with 3:05 remaining to record their eighth win in 11 games since a Dec. 5 loss at home to Boston.

"Getting this was big, it was an ugly game but we got the win," said 76ers point guard Andre Miller, who made all three shots in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points.

Iguodala scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter when Philadelphia held a 29-17 edge. The victory, which improves the 76ers to 6-7 on the road, was the first game of a six-game trip that concludes Jan. 6 in Denver.

"This was very important for us confidence-wise, it was a game we were capable of winning and we had to take care of it and get it done," Dalembert said.

Ex-76ers forward John Salmons scored 22 points for the Kings, who have lost three straight games at Arco Arena since coming home from a successful five-game road trip. Beno Udrih had 19 points and six assists and Brad Miller added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"I didn't think we were terrible on defense, we just turned the ball over a lot (23 times) and they converted, that was the difference in the game," Salmons said.

For the injury-plagued Kings, it was another game without a key player. Ron Artest has a chipped bone in his right elbow and was a late scratch for the game. Starting point guard Mike Bibby has yet to play this season and leading scorer Kevin Martin has been out the past 11 games with a strained right groin.

Artest, who took part in the Kings' morning shootaround and attended the game in street clothes, had an X-ray of the elbow on Friday and will be reevaluated before Sunday's game against Phoenix. The Kings are 2-7 in games Artest has missed this season.

"You have to take advantage of that anytime you have a player like that out," Andre Miller said. "That's just how it works sometimes, but it doesn't change the game. You know the other team is going to play harder."

Kings coach Reggie Theus said missing three-fifths of his starting lineup was a factor, but so were the turnovers.

"Wow, you could probably start this off by talking about being undermanned, but even with that said I don't accept 23 turnovers," Theus said. "Regardless of how undermanned you are and things of that nature, you've got to take care of the basketball -- it's ridiculous."

Mikki Moore and Brad Miller, who combined for 49 points in Dec. 14 victory in Philadelphia, were practically invisible in the first half, getting six points between them. Moore finished with six points and six rebounds.

"Anytime you get your butt kicked you look back and see how you can do things differently," Dalembert said. "My focus was not inside the paint. When you play against a shooter like (Brad) Miller he has to be your focus. So when he went outside I went with him."

Scoring repeatedly inside, Dalembert had 14 points and seven rebounds in the opening half when the 76ers led 50-46.

Game notes
The Philadelphia reserves outscored the Kings' 31-15. Bibby and Martin could return to the Kings by mid-January. Andre Miller missed 8 of 11 attempts in the opening half and the 76ers still shot 50 percent. Udrih was aggressive early, making all six shots in the first quarter and scoring 14 points.


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