Daily Confidential

Maybe the distraction of the Allen Iverson saga, and not his absence on the court, is what had the Philadelphia 76ers in such a funk.

Opening a road trip on which they'll be reacquainted with Iverson, the 76ers go for their third straight win on Tuesday as they meet the Golden State Warriors.

This contest comes one week after Philadelphia finally dealt its superstar guard to Denver, along with Ivan McFarlin, in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks. The following night saw the 76ers fall 101-93 to Indiana for their 12th consecutive loss - six of which came with Iverson inactive while the team tried to trade him.

Philadelphia has suddenly bounced back with two straight wins, the latter of which saw Miller make a solid debut.

He had 11 assists and went 4-of-5 from the field for nine points in 32 minutes off the bench as the Sixers routed the New York Knicks 98-77.

``I felt good out there,'' Miller said. ``I'll get more comfortable as we play more games.''

Andre Iguodala had his fourth straight game with at least 20 points, and already was appreciative of playing alongside a true point guard like Miller.

``When you have a player like Andre Miller getting you the ball in the right spot, it makes playing enjoyable,'' Iguodala said. ``I'm excited about the trip and playing with Andre. Even though we're on the road, we'll get to work together.''

This seven-game road trip is the Sixers' longest of the season and will include a visit to Denver on Jan. 2 for a matchup with Iverson and the Nuggets.

Every game on the trip comes against the Western Conference, in which Miller played the last three-plus seasons. He's averaged 19.0 points and 10.8 assists in his last five road games against the Warriors (14-15).

The Golden State backcourt, meanwhile, is likely to be short-handed for this contest because Monta Ellis is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in Saturday's 105-92 loss at Miami.

Ellis, averaging 17.1 points, got his feet tangled with the Heat's James Posey and landed on his shoulder as he crashed to the floor. Ellis laid face down on the court in agony for 3 minutes before being rolled over and helped off the court.

Coach Don Nelson is hopeful the injury does not result in a long absence for his second-leading scorer.

``That would be very costly,'' Nelson said. ``Not that any of them aren't.''

Ellis' likely absence Tuesday could mean more minutes for Jason Richardson, who had 18 points Saturday in his fourth game back after missing eight with a bone bruise in his left knee. Richardson totaled just 20 points in his first three games after returning.

Nelson's up-tempo offense has the Warriors scoring 105.7 points per game to rank fourth in the league, but they're also allowing 106.0 to rank 29th.

The Warriors, coming off a 2-4 road trip, have split the last four meetings with the Sixers.

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