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Iverson scores 40 for third time this season

SEATTLE (AP) -- Larry Brown believes Allen Iverson is playing the
best basketball of his career -- a point that was difficult to argue
after what Iverson did Friday night.

Iverson scored 40 points in leading the 76ers to a 108-99
victory over the Seattle SuperSonics, giving Philadelphia its 11th
win in 12 games since the All-Star break.

"He's had the best year since I've been around him," said
Brown, who has been coaching Iverson for the last six seasons.

"He's a Hall of Fame coach," said Iverson. "So I guess he
knows what he's talking about as far as my game goes. That makes me
feel good to get a compliment like that."

Iverson shot 15-of-27 from the field and the Sixers shot 51.9

Seattle, which had five players score in double figures, had its
six-game home winning streak snapped.

"Tonight (Iverson) was pretty consistent throughout the game
knocking down shots," said Sonics coach Nate McMillan. "Every
time we tried to make a run it seemed like he came up with a big
basket. When he has that going, there is nothing you can do except
hope that he misses some shots."

Keith Van Horn scored 26, Derrick Coleman had 14 points and 14
rebounds and Eric Snow also had a double-double with 14 points and
10 assists.

It was Iverson's third game this season with 40 or more points
and the fourth time this season that the Sonics allowed an opponent
to score 40-plus points.

"You're at his mercy when he's hitting his jumpers," said
Kevin Ollie, who came off the bench to score 12 points.

The Sonics were led by Ray Allen's 24 points, but he was
double-teamed and hounded by defenders the entire game. Although he
led the Sonics in scoring for the seventh straight game, Allen shot
only 8-of-23 from the field. Vladimir Radmanovic had 20, Brent
Barry added 14, and Rashard Lewis added 12.

"We threw a lot of different guys at Ray Allen tonight," said
Aaron McKie. "We chased him around, bumped him and gave him a lot
of different looks. He's always been able to score so we wanted to
keep after him."

The Sixers dominated on the inside, outscoring the Sonics 50-28
in the paint. Seattle scored many of its points from the outside,
going 13-of-23 from 3-point range.

"We couldn't stop their penetration," said McMillan. "All
night long they were playing in our paint with either Snow or
Iverson. They were breaking down and forcing our bigs to step up
and leave the basket open for offensive rebounds."

Philadelphia outrebounded Seattle 37-29 and had 11 offensive

Iverson took over in the third quarter when he scored 14 of his

Van Horn's fast-break layup with 6:09 left pushed the Sixers'
lead to 97-79. Seattle responded with a 14-3 run, capped by Lewis'
3-pointer with 2:18 to play that cut Philadelphia's lead to 100-93.
The Sonics would not get any closer.

The Sixers are now 11 games over .500. It's their highest mark
since they opened the season15-4.

"We're playing very well right now," said Iverson. "We just
have to keep doing the same thing we've been doing since the

Game notes
McMillan and C Jerome James were fined $7,500 and $5,000,
respectively, by the NBA for criticizing officials following
Wednesday's loss to Utah. ... Sonics C Elden Campbell missed his
second straight game with the flu. ... Barry has made at least two
3-pointers in each of the past five games. ... Snow, who has been
in double-figure scoring in each of the last 27 games, has posted
more than 10 points and 10 assists in four of the last five
games.... Van Horn suffered a cut chin during a scramble for a
loose ball in the second quarter. It required six stitches. ...
Kenny Thomas missed his second straight game with a sprained
ligament in his right ankle.

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