"Everybody's trying to get better, even myself," Iverson said.
The Sixers played without starters Chris Webber, who sat out as
a precaution after he was kneed in the thigh during Monday's
practice, and Samuel Dalembert, who was bothered by a strained quad
that kept him out of nearly all of training camp.
Webber, Dalembert and injured forward Shavlik Randolph will not
travel with the Sixers to their preseason game against San Antonio
on Wednesday night in Columbia S.C.
Houston pulled away midway through the fourth quarter, with
Luther Head's 3-pointer capping an 18-8 run. Head later added a
short jumper for a 99-89 lead and the rookie from Illinois finished
with 13 points in his debut.
Head was one of the many reserves who played almost the entire
fourth quarter after the starters for both teams played the bulk of
the third. Anderson and Head led a Houston bench that scored 51
"The young guys did well," McGrady said. "It's important that
they come in and run sets, play defense and try not to do too
Without their usual frontcourt presence, the Sixers were
outrebounded 39-33 and grabbed only four offensive boards.
The loss spoiled Cheeks' coaching debut, who returned to the
organization where he was an All-Star point guard and his retired
No. 10 jersey hangs from the rafters.
Cheeks, who led Philadelphia to its last championship in 1983,
was greeted warmly by the sparse crowd during pregame
Cheeks was a popular choice to replace Jim O'Brien, who was
fired after only one season.
"It's been a long time coming, from back in March to now,"
Cheeks said. "I'm glad it's here. It feels familiar."
That wasn't the only familiar part.
Iguodala certainly picked up with his spectacular dunks where he
left off last season. There was little need to pay attention to the
highlight reel of last year's dunks, complete with Onyk's "Slam!"
as the musical accompaniment, when Iguodala was wowing the crowd in
There was a reverse alley-oop off a pass from Korver and another
high-flying, out-of-nowhere slam near the end of the second
quarter. On the next possession, he ended the half with -- what's
this? -- a rare jumper at the buzzer for a 56-54 lead.
"That was just an instinct play with the clock going down,"
said a smiling Iguodala.
Randolph will miss another two to four weeks with a stress
fracture in his left foot. Randolph was hurt in the first practice
on the first day of camp and was originally listed with a sprained
left foot, including on Tuesday's injury report.
Cheeks said before the game the injury was much more serious.
The Sixers released guard-forward Ime Udoka after the game.