Rewarding rebounds

Posted: December 17, 2005

The 76ers went into last night's game against the Miami Heat with a four-game winning streak and, not surprisingly, their rebounding has played a major role in their success.

The Sixers, who were next to last in the NBA in rebounding margin after being outrebounded in 10 of their first 14 games, have grabbed 183 rebounds to their opponents' 159, or a difference of six per game.

Overall, the Sixers are still a minus-2.52 in the rebounding margin department, good for 23d in the league, but coach Maurice Cheeks likes what he has been getting under the boards, particularly from Chris Webber, Samuel Dalembert and rookie reserve Shavlik Randolph.

"It's just guys being much more active," Cheeks said before the game. "Sam has been part of it. Chris has been part of it. Shavlik coming off the bench has been a big part of it."

Webber, who grabbed a season-high 21 rebounds against Minnesota, has averaged 12.0 boards during the streak. Dalembert has pulled down 6.5 per game. Randolph, who became part of the rotation five games ago, has grabbed nearly five rebounds a game in that stretch, while averaging only 11 minutes.

Cheeks also said that reserve center Michael Bradley probably will be out another week with back pain, but that the injury wasn't as bad as first believed.

Bradley, who played at Villanova, missed his third game last night.

As for Allen Iverson, he surpassed a milestone for steals Wednesday night, getting four in the win over Atlanta to increase his career total to 1,503.

Going into last night's game, Iverson was five steals away from second place on the Sixers' all-time list, the spot occupied by Julius Erving. Cheeks is No. 1, with 1,942.

Iverson is third among active players in steals, trailing only Miami's Gary Payton (2,348) and New Jersey's Jason Kidd (1,770).

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano

at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.

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