Andre Iguodala's sore right Achilles tendon prevents him from walking without a limp when he isn't on the basketball court.
But in Sunday's win over the Chicago Bulls, Iguodala strangely was often the 76er who seemed to have the most spring in his step. He led the team with 12 rebounds and chipped in 14 points.
"The first half it was really bothering me. But then I think the adrenaline really carried me throughout the game," Iguodala said. "It's hard to get on your toes, that's the hardest thing. Some shots are flat-footed, which has kind of limited me. But as far as doing other things, trying to think the game, be in position, help out teammates, and make it easier for them and sacrifice myself, it's just great for these guys to be in this opportunity."
Iguodala, who fought through more than 43 minutes of action, again was the defensive heart that Sixers coach Doug Collins needs. Iguodala limited Luol Deng to just 11 points and got into enough passing lanes to make three steals.
He also made two huge foul shots down the stretch, giving the Sixers an 86-80 lead with 26.6 seconds to go. Iguodala shot a career-low 61.7 percent from the foul line this season.
"I was so happy for Dre today," said Collins. "He had 12 rebounds, but to step up to the line, up four, and make those two free throws was so great for him."
The game turned earlier when Jrue Holiday hit a three-pointer with 4 minutes, 13 seconds left to give the Sixers a 77-73 lead. After the make, Iguodala went to Collins and asked that the next play be called for Holiday, too.
On the Sixers next possession, after coming off a pick from Elton Brand, Holiday drained another trey for an 80-73 lead and a comfort level the team hadn't felt all game.
"That's Dre being a leader," said Holiday. "I guess he saw I was in a groove. . . . Again, Dre has been a leader this whole time, the whole year since it's been a shortened season. With the playoffs being a little crazy, especially for us, Dre's been that guy to really pump up the whole team."
For Iguodala, who has never won a playoff series, it's not time to celebrate yet.
"We just got to keep it business," he said. "We're not having fun yet. We still have some work to do, and we've got to stay focused."
The Sixers won the last two games while scoring fewer than 90 points. They were 2-18 in the regular season when they scored fewer than 90.
On the other hand, Chicago was 31-2 during the season when holding opponents to fewer than 90 points.
At the line
During the regular season, there were only four times the Sixers shot 30 or more foul shots in a game.
Yesterday's 22-for-31 effort marked the third time this series that the Sixers attempted 30 or more.
The last time the Sixers won three straight playoff games was against Indiana in the first round of the 2001 playoffs. . . . Chicago is averaging just 82.7 points in its three losses in the series. . . . Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that center Joakim Noah is day-to-day with his ankle sprain. He was wearing a protective boot and limping heavily.