Maybe it was going to a deeper bench. Or perhaps the team was just sick of losing. Or it might have been the opponent.

No matter what the reason was, the 76ers snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the New York Knicks, 101-90, tonight at the Wachovia Center.

The Sixers will go for their first two-game winning streak of the season when they visit the Knicks tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden.

Maybe the Sixers should play all of their games on Fridays. They are 4-2 on Fridays and 2-11 the rest of the week.

Lou Williams, who scored just two first-half points, was the spark the Sixers needed after intermission. He finished with 15 points.

When Samuel Dalembert can stay on the floor for long stretches, the Sixers are much better off. Tonight, Dalembert had 20 points and eight rebounds while shooting 9 for 12 from the floor in more than 36 minutes.

Andre Iguodala added 15 points, while Reggie Evans contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Willie Green, who gave the Sixers a spark early in the game, finished with 14 points (7-for-14 shooting). Andre Miller had nine points and 11 assists, his second consecutive game with double-digit assists.

The Knicks (6-12) were led by Jamal Crawford, who scored 28 points.

Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks used essentially a nine-man rotation and received more than 12 quality minutes from Thaddeus Young, who scored four points and added two rebounds and plenty of energy. The rookie had not played in the previous four games.

The Knicks entered the game having won four of their last six. In the Eastern Conference, there is the thought that they can contend for a playoff spot.

Based on their first-half performance, the Knicks won't convert many believers in their postseason chances.

The Sixers led, 53-49, at the break. Then again, that's a familiar scenario.

In games leading up to last night, the Sixers had owned a halftime lead only to lose to New Jersey, Atlanta and Boston.

Cheeks talked before the game about expanding his rotation. He had been going basically with an eight-man rotation.

In the first half, he used Young for 3 minutes, 42 seconds.

One of the reasons the Sixers led at the half was that they outrebounded New York, 30-21.

That's hard to believe, especially since the Knicks have frontcourt players Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry and super-sub David Lee.

Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury was playing a day after the burial of his father, Donald Sr., who died Sunday. Marbury started and played 13:18 in the first half, scoring two points (1-for-2 shooting) and adding two assists with no turnovers.

Coach Isiah Thomas elected to keep Marbury on the bench for the third quarter.

One reason for the Sixers' rebounding edge was the play of Dalembert, who had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Dalembert, however, is prone to foul trouble, and he went to the bench after picking up his third in the first three minutes of the third quarter.

As soon as he was replaced by Jason Smith, the Knicks made a run.

The Sixers led by 11 points early in the third quarter, but the Knicks used a 10-0 run to get to within 63-62 after Quentin Richardson hit a three-point shot.

They eventually tied the game, 65-65, but Williams led the Sixers on a 7-2 run at the end of the quarter for a 72-67 lead entering the fourth period.

Williams scored on a driving layup and hit the ensuing foul shot. He then fed Dalembert for a dunk and closed out the scoring by sinking two free throws with 3.1 seconds to play in the quarter.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com. Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/deepsixer.For the Sixers podcast, go to http://go.philly.com/sixerscast.