Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/9

Game 1: Friday, January 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 27th
Game 3: Sunday, February 8th
Game 4: Sunday, April 11th

76ers 75

(33-47, 12-28 away)

Nets 89

(47-33, 28-13 home)

1:00 PM ET, April 11, 2004

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 25 16 13 2175
NJ 17 21 28 2389

Top Performers

Philadelphia: S. Dalembert 4 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

New Jersey: K. Martin 15 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Nets eliminate Sixers from playoff race

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Philadelphia 76ers were knocked out of playoff contention Sunday with Allen Iverson conspicuously absent once again.

The New Jersey Nets took control in the third quarter and defeated the 76ers 89-75, ending Philadelphia's streak of five consecutive postseason appearances.

"It should be frustrating for everyone associated with the Sixers," guard Eric Snow said. "So many things went on, injuries, a change of coaches and everything else that makes for a long season.

"Hopefully this team can make a change, and this will be a one-year situation where we don't play in the postseason."

The idle Boston Celtics clinched the Eastern Conference's last remaining playoff spot, setting up a first-round series against the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers.

Philadelphia's five-year run of making the playoffs included a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001. The 76ers will soon begin an offseason of uncertainty, with no guarantees that Iverson, interim coach Chris Ford or general manager Billy King will return.

"I don't know. We'll see what direction everybody wants to go," said Ford, who replaced the fired Randy Ayers on Feb. 10. "The 10 guys that have been playing for me, I appreciate all they've done."

Philadelphia team policy does not require injured players to travel, and Iverson has not been on the road with the team since March 20 in Miami.

Iverson, who has missed 32 games this season, also has declined to join his teammates on the bench during home games.

"How I feel doesn't matter," Snow said. "What difference does it makes if it's a rule and a guy's allowed to do it?"

It was only a matter of time before Philadelphia's elimination became official, and the sequence that sealed the Sixers' fate came early in the second half.

Jason Kidd fed Richard Jefferson slicing down the middle for an alley-oop dunk that put New Jersey ahead for good 45-44, and a pair of free throws by Kidd completed a 30-9 run that gave the Nets a 64-50 lead.

Kidd, who sat out the Nets' previous game to avoid added stress on his painful left knee, had five points, eight assists, five steals and four rebounds in 27 minutes. He spent the fourth quarter on the bench getting updates on Phil Mickelson's progress in the Masters golf tournament.

Kenyon Martin, also coming off a one-game absence that kept him from playing on back-to-back nights, had a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes.

Kidd clutched his left knee midway through the third quarter after planting his foot on defense and then quickly changing directions, but remained in the game.

The Nets are locked into the No. 2 seed in the East and will open the playoffs at home next weekend.

"Regardless of who we play, it's going to be a very competitive series," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "I think we've seen the last half of this (season) the seeds five through eight have gotten significantly better. We're still just trying to keep our focus."

Game notes

Jefferson is on the verge of being named to the U.S. Olympic team. "They had a meeting a couple days ago, and (team president) Rod (Thorn) told me, 'Richard, I'm pretty sure you're going to be on the team," Jefferson said. ... On fan appreciation day, the Nets drew an announced crowd of 14,796 -- more than 5,000 short of a sellout. New Jersey has had only three sellouts this season. ... The Sixers are officially listing Iverson's injury as a "right knee lesion of the articular cartilage of the trochlear groove." Injured 76ers Derrick Coleman, Glenn Robinson and Marc Jackson also did not travel with the team. ... New Jersey improved to 18-6 vs. Atlantic Division teams and 31-10 against teams with losing records. The Nets won the season series 3-1.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 75 89
FGM-FGA 29-67 (.433) 33-76 (.434)
3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 7-13 (.538)
FTM-FTA 13-20 (.650) 16-22 (.727)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 3-36 9-41
Assists 20 26
Turnovers 21 14
Steals 9 13
Blocks 5 2
Fast Break Points 4 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Jersey
Samuel Dalembert Dalembert
Points: 4
Reb: 13
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 5
Kenyon Martin Martin
Points: 15
Reb: 9
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 1