Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Tuesday, November 13th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 19th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 20th

76ers 91

(35-31, 17-17 away)

Heat 79

(30-35, 14-17 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    7:30 PM ET, March 19, 2002

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHI 19 22 25 2591
    MIA 20 25 15 1979

    Top Performers

    Phi: A. Iverson 33 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

    Mia: E. Jones 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

    Iverson pumps in 33 in 47 minutes

    MIAMI (AP) -- Once again, the Miami Heat couldn't stop Allen Iverson when they needed to.

    Allen Iverson

    Allen Iverson started the game 1-for-7, but by the end he had 33 points and reason to smile.

    Iverson scored 33 points, including 21 in the second half, to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 91-79 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

    Iverson, who started the game 1-of-7, finished 11-of-28 to help the Sixers snap a two-game losing streak and remain 1 1/2 games behind Orlando for the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    "I've been struggling all year with my elbow and my shooting and everything," Iverson said. "It's important for me to just keep fighting.

    "That's the thing I've learned the most lately is how to play struggling, and it's important for me when I am struggling not to get down on myself, to keep fighting. And eventually, something good will happen like it did tonight."

    The Heat, coming off their most lopsided win of the season Saturday against Denver, lost for only the third time in 10 games and fell two games behind the Hornets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    "There are still a lot of games left," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "This one doesn't feel too good now because we played well for three quarters, but we fell apart in the fourth."

    The teams were playing the first of back-to-back games, with a second meeting on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

    The Sixers are 3-0 against the Heat this season, and Iverson has scored 25, 31 and 33 points while shooting 33 percent.

    After losing consecutive home games against Sacramento and Orlando, the Sixers were looking to get back on the winning track against one of their Eastern Conference rivals.

    "This is probably one of our best games of the year," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "We had a lot of guys step up. I thought Allen played about as well as he's played any time I've been around.

    "This was a big win for us. We've had some good road wins, but I think under the circumstances, after us losing two real tough games at home and playing a team that's playing as good as anybody, this is probably as good a win as we've had all year."

    After trailing 45-41 at halftime, Philadelphia closed the third quarter with a 15-2 run over the final 5 1/2 minutes to take a 66-60 lead. Iverson scored 11 points, including a free throw that put the Sixers ahead 61-60 with 44 seconds left in the period.

    Alonzo Mourning helped keep the Heat close in the fourth with 11 points, and Eddie Jones' layup closed the gap to 74-72 with 7:01 left.

    Iverson then hit a pair of 3-pointers, the second one producing an 84-74 lead with 3:05 left.

    "It was a wide-open shot and I don't get too many wide-open looks," Iverson said. "When the ball bounced to me, we had the momentum, I took the shot and thankfully it went in."

    Jones scored 23 points for Miami, and Mourning added 21.

    Derrick Coleman added 20 points for the 76ers. Coleman's status is day-to-day after he was diagnosed with a torn meniscus of the left knee before the game.

    "I didn't even expect him to play and I thought he was sensational," Brown said.

    The Heat had no explanation for their collapse in the third quarter, when they scored just 15 points and committed five turnovers.

    "You have to play this game for 48 minutes," Mourning said. "If you have a lapse in that 48 minutes, you have to recover, and we didn't. We had a lapse and they went on a run, and we had no sense of urgency at that time."

    Game notes

    Philadelphia has won five of the last six games against Miami. ...76ers center Dikembe Mutombo is the only player on his team to start all 66 games this season. ...Heat sixth man Jim Jackson scored four points in 31 minutes after missing Monday's practice because of tendinitis in his left knee. ...76ers forward Matt Harpring returned to the lineup after missing Sunday's game against Orlando with a stomach virus. Harpring scored eight points in 27 minutes. ...Heat backup point guard Anthony Carter missed the game because of personal reasons.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 79
    FGM-FGA 32-72 (.444) 34-70 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 1-8 (.125)
    FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 10-17 (.588)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 11-30
    Assists 12 23
    Turnovers 14 19
    Steals 9 4
    Blocks 1 2
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 21 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Allen Iverson Iverson
    Points: 33
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Eddie Jones Jones
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0