BOSTON (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers said goodbye to their 12-game losing streak and Allen Iverson all on the same night.

Andre Iguodala scored a career-high 31 points and had nine assists to help Philadelphia beat the Boston Celtics 98-83 on Friday night, just hours after the trade of their troubled superstar became official.

Iguodala topped the career high of 27 points he hit twice in the previous five games as the Sixers adjusted to life without Iverson. Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Philadelphia, who earned their first victory since beating Chicago on Nov. 24.

Al Jefferson had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Gerald Green had 20 points and nine assists for Boston.

The Sixers traded Iverson to Denver on Tuesday for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and a couple of first-round draft picks. The deal became official Friday when Iverson passed his physical between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. EST – too late for Miller or Smith to be eligible to play the Celtics but just in time for Iverson to make his Nuggets debut in their 9 p.m. EST start.

Even without their two new players, the Sixers had little trouble with Boston.

They led by seven points at the half and as many as 11 in the third quarter before the Celtics cut it to four, 75-71, with 10 minutes remaining. But Kyle Korver answered with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, and then added another jumper. The Celtics never got that close again.

In addition to missing Smith and Miller – and Iverson – the Sixers were without Chris Webber, who sat out his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.

The Celtics were missing some players of their own.

Star Paul Pierce will miss two to three weeks with a stress reaction – a soft tissue injury – in his left foot and will not make the five-game West Coast trip that starts Tuesday in Denver. Pierce has missed just 12 games in his career; the Celtics are 3-9 without him.

Brian Scalabrine missed the first half with the flu. Wally Szczerbiak has a sprained right ankle but is expected back to play the Nuggets.

Notes: Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn, now a Celtics announcer, will skip the team’s West Coast road trip because of back problems. … With Green making his first start this season, this is the sixth lineup the Celtics have used. … Boston had scored at least 100 against Philly in six straight games.

AP-ES-12-22-06 2244EST


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