The 76ers sweated and struggled and even needed an overtime against one of only two NBA teams with a record worse than theirs, but they finally achieved the seemingly impossible - posting another three-game winning streak.
Kyle Korver scored 27 points, including the first four of the extra period, and Andre Iguodala also contributed 27 points tonight to lead the Sixers to a 117-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in front of a crowd of 16,314 at the Wachovia Center.
The Sixers recorded their first three-game win streak since the first three games of the season.
After Mike Miller's three-point basket with 4.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter tied the game, 103-103, the teams went nearly two minutes of the extra period without scoring until Korver sank a basket with 3 minutes, 4 seconds to play.
Miller created the game's final tie with two free throws, and the Sixers got two free throws from Korver and an Andre Miller layup to take the lead for good. Joe Smith chipped in with four points in the overtime, and finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Iguodala added nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. Willie Green added 16 points. and Andre Miller had 11 points and 12 assists.
Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 31 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Miller added 27 points.
The Sixers held a 103-100 lead on Iguodala's layup with 19.8 seconds to play. On Memphis' next possession, they almost stole the ball twice, but it squirted out of bounds both times. The Grizzlies worked the ball around and Mike Miller drained an open trey from 27 feet with 4.9 seconds to play.
The Sixers had the last shot, but Iguodala missed a 12-foot fadeaway from the baseline.
The Sixers struggled with the Grizzlies and found themselves playing from behind most of the night. They battled back from a seven-point deficit with an 11-2 run and took an 86-84 lead on Smith's dunk with 6:30 remaining.
But the Grizzlies got the lead back on Damon Stoudamire's three-point basket. Another three-ball by Stoudamire and Miller's three-point play put Memphis ahead, 93-90, with 3:39 to play before the Sixers went on a run of six consecutive scores.
Iguodala slammed home two alley-oop lobs from Andre Miller and Korver deposited a layup and a mid-range jumper. Miller got a jumper and Smith a layup, after he blocked Gasol on the defensive end, to finish the run and give the Sixers a 101-97 lead with 1:23 to play.
Mike Miller knocked down a baseline jumper and, after Korver's miss ended the streak, Stoudamire went to the line looking to tie it with two free throws, but he made only one. After a Sixers time-out, Iguodala held the ball as the shot clock wound down, then took off and sank a reverse layup to make it a three-point game with 19.8 seconds to play.
But they couldn't hold on, and the game went into overtime.
Lowry out for season. Former Villanova star Kyle Lowry, a rookie with the Grizzlies, will not play anymore this season as his broken left wrist heals slowly.
"It's been a long process," Lowry said before tonight's game. "But I won't be back this year - not even close. I wanted to get back earlier, but it just hasn't healed enough. It's killing me not being able to play. It's been a long season."
Lowry, who played two years at Villanova before being taken with the 24th pick in the first round, has been out since Nov. 24 after fracturing three bones in the wrist. He underwent surgery and had a screw inserted to help the healing process.
Lowry credited his teammates with keeping his spirits up. After the Grizzlies got into town Thursday, Lowry took some of those teammates to Ishkabibble's on South Street for cheesesteaks.
Lowry, a Cardinal Dougherty High graduate, said he provided 40 tickets for family and friends. But had he played, he added with a smile, "it would have been closer to 100,000."
Contact staff writer Joe Juliano
at 215-854-4494 or email@example.com.