The key to the Sixers (10-23) walking away with a victory was a heavily depleted Denver Nuggets roster. Denver played without the services of perennial all-star's Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony and had one of their defensive leaders Chris "Birdman" Andersen leave the game with a high ankle sprain midway through the second quarter.
Making up for the holes in the lineup was Nuggets rookie point guard Ty Lawson. Lawson, whom the Sixers passed up in this years draft, finished with 23 points and 9 assists and was 8-13 from the field. On the contrast, Sixers rookie Jrue Holiday shot 3-4 from the field finishing with eight points in only 11 minutes.
Leading all scorers was Denver (21-13) center Nene Hilario. Nene ended with a game high 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The Sixers held on for the win after leading by as many as 16 before a late Denver comeback. Philly scored the first seven points in the fourth quarter and held Denver cold for over five minutes while Philly stretched their lead to 15 at the 10:16 point in the fourth quarter.
Sixers guard Allen Iverson finished with 17 points and seven assists in his return to Denver as a member of the Sixers. Iverson was a real key to the Sixers offense and has helped open up the floor for fellow starters Lou Williams (12 points) and Samuel Dalembert (6). Dalembert's six points does not seem impressive until you notice that all three dunks were scored off of Iverson assists. Sammy went 3-3 from the field and showed signs of improvement on the defensive end boxing out opponents.
A real strong development for Philadelphia during this road trip was their perimeter shooting. Guard Rodney Carney has continually shot over 75% from beyond the arch off the bench and last night was no exception with Carney shooting 3-4 from three finishing with 11 points.
Forward Elton Brand had another strong night off the bench finishing with 16 points and seven boards. Brand played 35 minutes off the bench and has really adapted to his role as the Sixers go to sixth man.
Next up for Philadelphia is a visit from the Washington Wizards to the Wachovia Center. Head Coach Eddie Jordan will attempt to get his first win against the team that fired him after a 1-11 start last season. The Sixers will also attempt to redeem themselves from the 98-105 loss they suffered to Washington on Dec. 22nd.