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Sixers give Cheeks victory over team that fired him

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson sprinted up court, grabbed an
opponent's jersey and got the stoppage he needed to leave the game.

By that time, the Philadelphia 76ers were on their way to an
easy victory and Iverson got needed rest the final four minutes.

Iverson scored 38 points and Chris Webber had 16 points and 15
rebounds, leading the Sixers over the Portland Trail Blazers 107-83
on Tuesday night.

"I was frustrated with myself in the sense that I was missing
easy shots," said Iverson, who finished 16-of-27 after missing six
of his first seven shots. "I just had to make a conscious effort
to go harder (to the basket) and concentrate. Then I got in a
rhythm."

Kyle Korver added 16 points for the Atlantic Division-leading
Sixers (8-7). Philadelphia had lost four of its previous five games
after winning six in a row.

Zach Randolph scored 24 and Darius Miles had 13 for Portland,
which has lost five of seven.

"They got a good push from the start and we got beat on the
boards," Randolph said.

The Sixers outrebounded the Blazers 60-30, including 21-4 on the
offensive end.

"I thought our focus the last couple days was rebounding and
playing defense, and it showed," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said.

Philadelphia leads the NBA in scoring with an average of 104.0
points per game, but came in 28th in points allowed.

"Scoring is not our problem," Iverson said. "We have to work
on other areas, rebounding and defense."

It was the first game for Cheeks against his former team. Cheeks
coached the Blazers nearly four seasons before he was fired last
March. In May, he returned to Philadelphia, where he starred on the
Sixers' championship team in 1983.

Iverson, Webber and the rest of the Sixers got off to a slow
start. The duo missed a combined 12 of 13 shots in the first
quarter, and Philadelphia shot just 28 percent (8-for-29) in the
opening 12 minutes. But the Sixers led 23-20, largely due to plenty
of second chances thanks to 18 rebounds.

"We're going to score points. If we can rebound like that,
we're going to be all right," Korver said.

Philadelphia built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and
maintained it the rest of the way.

Andre Iguodala started a 13-5 run with an alley-oop dunk off a
pass from Iverson. Korver hit a 3-pointer during the stretch and
Iguodala had another dunk, before John Salmons finished it off with
a jumper, giving the Sixers a 58-42 lead at halftime.

The Blazers got no closer than 11 in the second half.

"I thought they were quicker to the ball," Blazers coach Nate
McMillan said. "Giving up 21 offensive rebounds, it's tough to
stay in the game. We looked like a tired team. They were pounding
us from the start."

A crowd of just 12,676 turned out at the Wachovia Center, the
third-lowest total this season. A once-hot ticket in town, the
Sixers are struggling to draw fans, despite leading their mediocre
division.<
Notes: Sixers C Samuel Dalembert played his second game after missing the first 11 with an injured right quadriceps. He had four points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes. ... The Sixers began a stretch of four games in four cities in five nights. It's the third time they'll play four games in five days already. ... Blazers assistant coaches Dean Demopoulos and Monty Williams have Philadelphia ties. Demopoulos was an assistant under Hall of Fame coach John Chaney at Temple for several years. Williams played for the Sixers in 2002-03. ... Portland had won five of its previous six games in Philly.