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12/29/2012 2:26 AM EST
Lee's double-double lifts Warriors past 76ers
GOLDEN STATE 96, PHILADELPHIA 89

By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- David Lee knows Golden State is doing
things few expected. Still, even he was a bit surprised by the
Warriors' latest milestone.



Lee had 25 points and 12 rebounds and the Warriors held off a
late charge in the fourth quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers
96-89 on Friday, securing Golden State's 20th victory of the
season.



It's the first time in more than 30 years that the Warriors have
reached 20 wins before New Year's Day, another big achievement
for a team that won only 23 games during the lockout-shortened
2011 season.



"Before the (2006-07) `We Believe team? Wow," Lee said. "We're
getting back into the Run-TMC stuff, huh? Was this back in
Cazzie Russell in `72? We're just trying to make our own history
here. I don't think our best ball's even been played yet."



Golden State clearly wasn't its sharpest against Philadelphia
but did just enough to beat the Sixers for the first time in
more than two years.



The Warriors committed 18 turnovers and nearly blew a 20-point
lead in the second half when Philadelphia made its best run of
the night.



Philadelphia pulled to 84-80 on Royal Ivey's 3-pointer with 6:23
left to play before Lee scored six straight as part of his 19th
double-double this season to help Golden State pull away.



"He's our voice in the middle," said Jarrett Jack, who had 16
points and six assists. "No one's really shown that they can
contain him."



Carl Landry added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors,
who hadn't defeated the Sixers since Dec. 27, 2010.



Jrue Holiday had 21 points and 10 assists for Philadelphia. The
Sixers have lost eight of 10 on the road.



"We just waited too long to come back and those guys are playing
real good right now," said former Warrior Dorrell Wright, who
had eight points in his second straight start in place of the
injured Jason Richardson. "They've gotten a lot better on
defense. They (used to) let you back in the game."



Golden State (20-10) kept its best start in more than two
decades going by getting balanced scoring and outhustling a
pesky Philadelphia team.



It wasn't always pretty.



The Warriors committed six turnovers in the first quarter then
needed a strong fourth quarter from Lee to hold off the Sixers.
Golden State had dropped its previous three against
Philadelphia, including a pair of blowout losses in 2011.



Then again, Warriors coach Mark Jackson's team has been defying
expectations much of the season.



"We've been consistent whether we are home or on the road,"
Jackson said. "We play with an edge, we play with a belief, and
now our job is just to chalk them up in the win column. Mission
accomplished tonight."



Philadelphia (14-16), making its third stop on an eight-game
road trip, made it difficult but came up short two days after
beating Memphis 99-89.



Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 assists for the Sixers while
reserve Nick Young had 13 points.



The Warriors led after one following Jack's off-balance
12-footer off the glass with 2.6 seconds left.



Jack later had some fun after Wright lost his left shoe in the
second quarter. Jack picked up the shoe and tossed it into the
crowd behind the backboard, then raced down the court and made a
3-pointer to give the Warriors a 41-34 lead. Sixers coach Doug
Collins had to call timeout to allow Wright to retrieve his
shoe.



"I know the rule is that's not a penalty but I think as a league
we need to revisit that," Collins said. "There shouldn't be
anything thrown in the stands. If you throw a ball in the
stands, you're thrown out of the game. It was a shoe and (then)
a 3, sort of a double-whammy."



Jack and Landry, who have provided a boost off the bench for
Golden State, combined for 25 points in the first half and the
Warriors closed on a 16-4 run to lead 57-42.



Philadelphia pulled to 59-47 early in the third but Lee scored
four straight then fed Harrison Barnes with a no-look pass from
atop the key for an easy layup to put Golden State up by 18.



Young provided one of the few highlights for the Sixers when he
jumped from just inside the free throw line and made a soaring
one-handed dunk.



Klay Thompson scored 14 points for the Warriors while Stephen
Curry had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds.



NOTES: Golden State improved to 12-2 against the Eastern
Conference. ... Richardson was sidelined because of a sore back.
... Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes, coming off a season-high 20
points in the win over Memphis, had two points and was charged
with a technical foul early in the second quarter. ... Oakland
Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was among those in
attendance.

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