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Sixers rally to remain perfect (7-0) at home

11/23/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- If the Philadelphia 76ers could start games
the way they finish them, they'd be even tougher to beat.

Allen Iverson scored 31 points and Keith Van Horn added 13 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Sixers to a 90-80 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Philadelphia won for the fifth time in six games, improving to 7-0 at the First Union Center and 9-4 overall.

Antonio Davis had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Alvin Williams added 15 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight. Toronto was without Vince Carter for the sixth straight game because of a strained left quadriceps tendon.

The Sixers trailed by 14 in the first half and didn't take their first lead until Iverson hit a baseline jumper that made it 61-60 lead with 1:10 left in the third quarter.

In Wednesday night's victory over Memphis, the Sixers were behind by eight at halftime. They fell behind New Orleans by 22 in the first half of Tuesday night's game before losing on a buzzer-beater.

"We need to play like we're down,'' Van Horn said. "We need to start off with aggressiveness, start off attacking and carry it throughout the game.''

Iverson turned the momentum in Philadelphia's favor when he beat
the buzzer with a 3-pointer from beyond midcourt to make it 66-62
after three quarters, and Van Horn put the game out of reach with
seven straight points.

Van Horn scored on a fast-break dunk, made another dunk off a
pass from Iverson and drilled a 3-pointer to give the Sixers an
83-68 lead with just over five minutes left.

The Raptors got within 86-78 on a free throw by Davis with 1:46
left, but Iverson iced it with two free throws.

"In the second half, we made it difficult for ourselves,''
Davis said. "We threw one guy the ball and everybody else stood
around and waited for him to do something with it.''

Morris Peterson shot just 3-for-18 and had nine points and
Voshon Lenard was 5-for-19 for 13 points for the Raptors, who shot
27-for-81 (33.3 percent).

Philadelphia's bench outscored Toronto's 24-14.

"When we go to our bench, we have a big drop-off right now,''
Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "It makes us lose momentum.''

Iverson shot 11-for-28, grabbed seven rebounds and had five
steals and five assists.

"I have no idea. I wish I had an answer,'' Iverson said when asked why the Sixers have started slowly in recent games. "We're aware that you don't want to start off like that and make a conscious effort to play the same way from the beginning.''

The Raptors led by 14 in the second quarter, but the Sixers cut
it to 42-39 at halftime. With Iverson on the bench, Philadelphia
trimmed Toronto's 31-20 lead to six points.

Game notes
Van Horn missed an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Iverson
in the opening minutes. Brian Skinner converted Iverson's alley-oop
pass in the second quarter. ... The Raptors had won three straight
in Philadelphia and six of seven overall against the Sixers. ...
Iverson has scored in double figures in 133 consecutive games, the
longest streak in the NBA. ... Raptors guard Lindsey Hunter sat out
his third in a row with a sore right knee.