The 76ers won.

It had been 25 days and 12 games since those words were last accurate.

It would be nice to say the drought ended with a hard-fought win over a competent opponent, but it did not. Last night at the Wachovia Center, the Sixers destroyed the very bad Golden State Warriors, 117-101.

In the third quarter, the Sixers were ahead by 32 points.

Last night, Golden State, in the last game of a five-game swing, could not defend a trash can, let alone a crossover-ready Allen Iverson (20 points) and a spring-from-the-floor Thaddeus Young (26).

The victory, which ended a 12-game slide, lifted the Sixers' record to 6-18. They had not won since beating the Charlotte Bobcats on Nov. 18. Golden State dropped to 7-17.

After some recent losses, Iverson said how hard the next win would be, how victory would be taken by the Sixers, not given by an opponent. Last night's win leaned toward the latter.

"It's been a tough road trip," said Golden State's Corey Maggette, who scored a team-high 24 points. "Tonight was not a good effort."

"We thought it would have been one of the hardest games to win of the season," Iverson said. "But it was the total opposite."

Power forward Elton Brand said he thought the slump-busting win "was going to be a dogfight."

"And then we're up 31," Brand added. "So, yeah, it was a little surprising."

Also surprising was coach Eddie Jordan's starting lineup: He benched Brand and started rookie point guard Jrue Holiday.

Brand played 16 minutes, 37 seconds. In those limited minutes, he scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

"With my temperament, after losing so many games, I just want to win," said Brand, who said he expects to continue in a reserve role. "Jordan knows I'm not going to not be professional and be a detriment to the team."

Is Brand surprised to be in this position?

"When you look around at other teams, yeah," Brand said. "No disrespect, but [Golden State center] Mikki Moore, he gets to start and I don't."

Moore scored eight points last night.

Young scored 23 points in the first half, nearly all of them in the paint.

"I was telling everybody that since Thad got it going, let's play off him; he can make it easy on everybody else," Iverson explained.

Young said he was telling his teammates, "Look, as long as they're playing me one-on-one, then, OK, I'll do what you guys want me to do: go to the basket."

Last night, in front of a crowd of 12,795 that seemed smaller, the Sixers, not known for their interior muscle, outrebounded the Warriors, 58-26, and outscored them in the paint, 56-24.

Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala was the only starter not scoring with video-game efficiency: He shot 4 for 20 from the field, scoring 14 points.

The rest of the starters combined to shoot 32 of 54.

In the first half, Iguodala left the court with a bruised left rib. X-rays were negative. He is listed as day-to-day and is expected to miss today's practice.