The Philadelphia 76ers managed to avoid tying their longest losing streak in 10 years and, in the process, may have begun to put the Allen Iverson saga behind them.

Now, the 76ers look to win back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season 3-0 when they face the New York Knicks at the Wachovia Center on Saturday.

The Sixers (6-19) expect to have newly acquired players Joe Smith and Andre Miller available for the first time. The duo, traded by the Denver Nuggets as part of a package deal that sent Iverson to Denver, was unable to play in Friday's 98-83 win over the Boston Celtics.

Because Iverson hadn't passed a physical by the time the Sixers submitted their lineup, the trade couldn't be made official, although Miller had already been ruled out because his flight from Denver was delayed.

While Smith isn't expected to see much playing time, Philadelphia hopes Miller can help boost its lackluster offense. He averaged 13 points and 9.1 assists in 23 games with the Nuggets this season.

Despite the lack of a full roster, Philadelphia snapped its 12-game losing skid, its longest since dropping 13 straight from Dec. 28, 1996, to Jan. 20, 1997.

``It's a relief,'' said center Samuel Dalembert, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the 76ers' first victory since beating Chicago on Nov. 24. ``It's like carrying a big bag of potatoes, man, for a long time. It was crazy.''

Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 31 points and added nine assists in Philadelphia's second-best shooting night of the season. The Sixers shot 53.9 percent from the field against the Celtics, more than 10 points above their season average.

Philadelphia plays its next seven games on the road, including a Jan. 2 matchup against Iverson and the Nuggets.

While Philadelphia has won eight of the last 12 games played at the Wachovia Center against the Knicks, New York (12-17) enters Saturday with its longest winning streak of the season.

The Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 103-92 on Friday to earn their third consecutive victory for the first time since April.

Jamal Crawford scored 30 points and Stephon Marbury added 19, helping to boost a short-handed Knicks team.

New York played without injured starters Steve Francis (knee) and Quentin Richardson (back), as well as Nate Robinson, Jared Jeffries and Mardy Collins, who were all suspended for their roles in a brawl with the Nuggets last weekend.

The Knicks used nine players on Friday after using eight in each of the previous two games - a pair of overtime victories over Utah and Charlotte.

``We're feeling good,'' said Eddy Curry, who had 20 points. ``We don't want to start patting ourselves on the back yet though, but I think we definitely feel like we're playing good basketball right now.''


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