When you have a struggling team there are a few things that can usually fix all of your offensive production problems: play the N.J. Nets or a team that's riddled with injuries. Monday night the Sixers capitalized on the misfortunes of a battered Portland Trailblazers team winning 104-93 at Portland's Rose Garden.
The Blazers came into tonight's game with no real strong post forward for their lineup. The team is suffering without a true big man due to the season ending injury to Greg Oden and with backup Joel Pryzbilla out indefinitely with a strained right patella tendon. The Sixers saw this and capitalized scoring 60 points in the low post of Portland and crashing the boards nabbing 31 defensive rebounds.
Leading the way for the Sixers was forward Elton Brand. Once again Brand came off the bench and almost finished with another double-double ending with 25 points and nine rebounds. Brand has been out of the starting lineup since before the current six game road trip and is relishing in the almost 30 minutes he is getting off the bench.
Portland (20-13) refused to go down without a fight as they had five players in double figures including guard Brandon Roy who finished with a game high 25 points. With the losses of Pryzbilla and Oden other players saw substantial time off of Portland's bench. Forward Jeff Pendergraph finished with a career high 11 points a five boards.
The Sixers (8-22) benefited by the return of guard Allen Iverson who has been out almost two weeks with left knee arthritis. Iverson finished with a season high 19 points.
This is the Sixers first win on their current six game road trip and its key to them ending 2009 strong. Next up for the Sixers is a back to back at the Sacramento Kings on the 30th and finishing off at the L.A. Clippers on the 31st.