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Iverson: 38 points, nine assists, eight steals

3/29/2003

ATLANTA (AP) -- The idea of being swept by the Atlanta Hawks was so repulsive, Allen Iverson refused to let it happen.

Iverson had 38 points, nine assists and eight steals as the Philadelphia 76ers coasted to a 110-89 victory Saturday night.

"I felt good about our chances in this game,'' Iverson said. "They had beat us three times in a row. We didn't want them to sweep us.''

Iverson finished 17-for-25 from the floor, missing his only
3-point attempt. He hit eight straight midrange jump shots before
missing an 18-footer from the left baseline late in the second
quarter.

Philadelphia took a 38-26 lead midway through the second quarter
on Iverson's 22-footer, and the Sixers maintained a double-digit
lead the rest of the way.

"It looked like the ocean,'' Iverson said of the basket. "Everything I threw up, it seemed like it would go in. Fortunately, it was enough to win.''

Glenn Robinson, who missed an overtime loss Wednesday at Detroit
with an inflamed left Achilles heel, led Atlanta with 16 points on
5-for-18 shooting. Robinson committed seven of the Hawks' 17
turnovers.

"We don't try to go out and throw the ball away or miss
shots,'' Robinson said. "We try to make every shot. We try to make
a good possession every time we come out.''

Philadelphia improved to 18-5 since the All-Star break, while
Atlanta lost its third straight.

"Once we got the lead that we had, we wanted to keep it,'' Iverson said. "We wanted to make sure we kept doing the things it took for us to get the lead. That showed a lot about our character, being able to go out and put a foot on their neck.''

Derrick Coleman did not play because of a left quadriceps
contusion. Kenny Thomas, who started and finished with 18 points
and a game-high 11 rebounds, had his third straight double-double
and fourth in five games.

"We just played with a lot of energy tonight,'' said Tyrone
Hill, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. "It was an important
win for us. For me, I just have to keep pulling my weight and get
myself in shape. There's not enough practice time to get myself in
shape, so I have to play myself into shape.''

Despite a size advantage on the front line, the Hawks were
outscored 62-28 in the paint.

"I was very angry with the way we played the first half, at
both ends of the court,'' Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. "We
didn't show any discipline or unselfishness or things that good
teams do and things that we've been doing for most of the time that
I've been coaching the team.''

Jason Terry's layup with 7:08 left in the third quarter cut the
lead to 65-55, but the Hawks never got any closer.

"We were a little distracted,'' Terry said. "We can't allow that to happen. We weren't all playing on the same page. It definitely wasn't like the way we've been playing the last couple of months.''

With the Sixers coming off a 102-98 home loss to Golden State,
Iverson was glad to see his teammates playing hard on defense.

"The most important thing is we just have to compete,'' Iverson said. "But if you play defense you always have a chance to stay in the game.''

Game notes
Coleman, who was injured as he collided with Jermaine
O'Neal in the 76ers' 91-85 victory Wednesday at Indiana, had seven
points in a 102-98 loss Friday to Golden State. ... Philadelphia
also was without reserve forward Brian Skinner, who missed his
second straight game because of personal business. Sixers coach
Larry Brown refused to give any details about Skinner, other than
he expects him to return for Monday's game at Orlando, where
Philadelphia is an all-time 5-22.