Randolph, Dixon Rally Blazers Past Sixers
Portland 95, Philadelphia 91
PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 28 (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and Juan Dixon spoiled Maurice Cheeks' return to Portland.
Randolph scored 28 points and Dixon added 18 - both hitting big shots down the stretch - as the Portland Trail Blazers posted a 95-91 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers.
"I've been on that side of the bench, I've been over there before," Cheeks said. "We have to move on. You can't live in the past of what we did or what we were. The Blazers moved on and I've moved on."
Randolph, who has been inconsistent this season, converted a three-point play with 53 seconds remaining to give the Blazers an 87-84 lead.
"The telling play was when Zach got the three-point play," Cheeks said. "That was the biggest play, and we had 19 turnovers. We never do that."
"It was a great win for us," Randolph said. "We wanted to come out and be aggressive the whole game and that's what we did. The guys are playing great, Juan (Dixon) is playing great as a starter."
After Allen Iverson made two free throws to pull the Sixers within 87-86, Dixon drained a pull-up jumper from the free-throw line for a three-point advantage with 34 seconds left.
"I have a lot of confidence right now," Dixon said. "Coach (Nate McMillan) called my number during the timeout and I was able to come through. I live for moments like that."
Since being inserted into the starting lineup, Dixon has flourished, averaging 17 points and bringing consistency to the backcourt.
"I love my role right now," Dixon said. "When you have the head coach (McMillan) supporting you and has a lot of confidence in you, it doesn't matter if you miss two or three prior. I just want to continue to do the things on both sides of the floor."
Kyle Korver's deep 3-pointer pulled the Sixers within 93-91 with three seconds to go, but Steve Blake made two free throws a second later to secure the win.
"It was just a solid team effort," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Our guards did an unbelievable job. I thought one of the keys tonight was to attack the paint, control the boards, and take care of the ball."
Randolph added 14 rebounds and Ruben Patterson scored 17 points for Portland, which has won a season-high three straight games. Blake contributed 11 points and six assists.
"It feels great, but we just can't get no big heads right now," Randolph said. "We gotta continue to do the little things that have made us start to play good basketball. We gotta play hard, practice hard and get better as a team."
On the second night of back-to-back contests, Philadelphia's 19 turnovers were a season high.
"I think I set the tempo with turning the ball over," Iverson said. "I had a couple careless ones and they trickled over to the rest of the team."
Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, battled through a sore ankle to score 28 points, but committed six turnovers. Korver scored 15 of his 24 points in the third quarter.
"I just wanted to play," Iverson said. "I told coach that if I could run in warmups, and cut, then I could go. I felt it would loosen up a little bit and it did, but it bothered me."
Chris Webber added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who fell to 1-2 on a seven-game road trip. Webber was held without a basket in the second half.
"I felt good tonight, but the shots didn't fall for me," Webber said.