PHILADELPHIA – Andre Iguodala celebrated his 28th birthday with the eighth triple-double of his career.
He also continued to show that he’s worthy of his first all-star berth in eight NBA seasons.
Iguodala had 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for the league’s fourth triple-double this season and the Philadelphia 76ers won their second straight game with a 95-74 victory over the struggling Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
Iguodala, who was playing in front of his mother and a number of close friends, received a nice ovation from the crowd when he secured his triple-double with a defensive rebound with 7:34 remaining.
“To me, winning is the most important thing,” Iguodala said. “As long as we are continuing to win, that’s most important. Stats are nice and I’m happy to get the triple-double, but I’m most pleased that we got another win.”
Lou Williams scored 17 points, Elton Brand added 14 and Jrue Holiday had 13 for the Sixers, who improved to 14-6 and 10-2 at home. They are 3-1 on this seven-game homestand, which gets markedly tougher next week with visits from the Orlando Magic on Monday, Chicago Bulls on Wednesday and Miami Heat on Friday.
Boston guard Rajon Rondo, Houston guard Kyle Lowry and Charlotte guard Kemba Walker have registered triple-doubles this season with Walker’s coming Saturday as well in a loss to the Washington Wizards.
And now Iguodala.
“Dre is such an unselfish guy on offence,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “Sometimes, I have to go to him and say, ‘I really need you to shoot the ball.'”
Iguodala took only seven shots in 34 minutes and still managed to accomplish what the likes of Miami guards LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant have been unable to do this season.
“He’s a winner and I like being with winners,” Collins said. “I’m watching him grow every day and it’s fun to see that.”
The Sixers have been a strong second-half team this season, and this game was no different. They came out of halftime with a quick 8-2 run — highlighted by three-pointers from Iguodala and Jodie Meeks — and extended their lead to 50-33.
Detroit never got closer than nine the rest of the game.
The Pistons received a boost with the return of forward Tayshaun Prince, who had missed the previous two games tending to a family matter. Prince finished with just six points. The short-handed Pistons were still without injured guards Will Bynum and Ben Gordon, as well as forward Charlie Villanueva.
The missing pieces were noticeable as the Pistons struggled mightily on offence in the first half with 31 points, their second-fewest in any half this season. Maybe it was a carryover from Friday’s 107-101 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks in which the Pistons relinquished a six-point lead in the final 54 seconds of regulation.
“It’s all about resolve,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. “It’s how you react. It’s not a college season. Last night was one loss.”
One night later, they trailed Philadelphia 42-31 at halftime.
Detroit wasn’t much sharper in the second half and fell to 4-17 with four straight losses and eight of nine.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Austin Daye added 12 points.
“We had trouble scoring points tonight and the guys were a little fatigued,” Daye said.
Notes: Sixers C Spencer Hawes missed his sixth consecutive game with a strained left Achilles, while rookie F Nikola Vucevic was out for the fourth straight game with a left knee quad strain. … Monroe was whistled for a technical foul with 1:08 left in the first half. … The Sixers were 9 for 15 from three-point territory. … Collins, on his bobblehead promotion Saturday night: “I like the grey hair. It has wisdom written all over it.”