Prolific Iverson too much for Pacers to handle


PHILADELPHIA -- The way Eric Snow was shooting, Allen Iverson didn't have to score 40 points. He did it anyway.

Iverson broke the 40-point barrier for the fourth time in five
games Friday night, scoring 41 in the Philadelphia 76ers' 109-100
victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Snow tied a career high with 25 for the defending Eastern
Conference champion Sixers, who won for the fifth time in six
outings and moved three games over .500 for the first time all

"He's been playing real well," Iverson said of Snow. "I said
we need Eric to perform at a high level."

Jermaine O'Neal had 25 points, and Jonathan Bender added 17 for
Indiana, which has lost two straight since Reggie Miller returned
from a two-game suspension for a fight with Kobe Bryant. Miller had 15 points.

It was the ninth time this season that Iverson scored 40 or more
points. He had 46 in an 85-76 victory over Cleveland on Wednesday

Iverson missed nine of his first 12 shots and finished 13-of-36.
But he made all eight of his free throws in the final minute.

"I already know I can score in this league," said Iverson, the
NBA's leading scorer at 31.2 points per game. "I know I can get 50
one night and 20 the next. It's not something I get excited about.
If I don't score and we win, that's a good thing."

Philadelphia, which played without injured forward Derrick
Coleman and guard Aaron McKie, led most of the game until the
fourth quarter.

But after Indiana made five free throws to take a 91-88 lead,
Iverson answered. He hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 91, then made a
steal and threw a pass behind his back to Matt Harpring for a dunk
and a 93-91 lead with 3:01 left.

After a jumper by O'Neal tied it, Harpring's jumper and Snow's
four straight free throws made it 99-93 with 1:02 remaining.

"We had to buckle in when we were up," Miller said.
"Iverson's 3 gave them life again. It was a foul game in the

Harpring had 14 points and nine rebounds, Corie Blount grabbed
14 rebounds, and Iverson and Snow each had eight assists. Snow made
his first six shots and finished 9-of-13.

"I don't look at the points," Snow said. "I just want to help
the team. I got some good looks and good shots."

Indiana took its first lead since the opening minutes, 75-74, on
a 3-pointer by Jamaal Tinsley and a scoop shot by Ron Artest less
than a minute into the fourth.

Coleman has missed two straight games with a hyperextended left
knee, and McKie has sat out 16 of the last 19 games because of a
left ankle sprain.

"We're still trying to become a team," Pacers coach Isiah
Thomas said. "Everyone still has to get used to each other."

Game notes
Philadelphia is 26-16, including 8-1 this season, when
Iverson scores 40 or more points. ... Snow scored 25 against Boston
on Nov. 11, 2000. ... Artest had a flagrant foul on Blount midway
through the first quarter. ... The Pacers won the first two
meetings, including an 86-76 victory on Feb. 17 in which Miller and
Coleman were ejected for fighting. ... Indiana is 9-21 against
teams that are .500 or better. ... Tinsley fouled out with 1:02
left. He had 10 points and seven assists. ... Philadelphia's
Dikembe Mutombo scored 13 point and grabbed eight rebounds. He went
to the bench after getting his fifth foul with 7:44 left, but
returned 4 minutes later.