Sixers get first win in Utah in four years

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Allen Iverson wouldn't let Philadelphia blow an 18-point halftime lead against the slumping Utah Jazz.

Iverson fought through the flu to give the 76ers their first win in Utah in four years with a 106-99 win Wednesday night. He scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and took command of the game when the Jazz started to rally in the final minutes.

"It feels good for me, personally, just to come in here and get a win," said Iverson, who also had nine assists just hours after missing the team's shootaround because of the flu.

The Sixers didn't turn the ball over in the first half and won at Utah for the first time since Dec. 26, 2000. Philadelphia had dropped 14 of 15 on the road against the Jazz.

Kenny Thomas added 30 points, scoring 18 during the Sixers' 39-point opening quarter, and Marc Jackson added 14 points, making all 10 of his free throws.

Philadelphia improved to 5-2 on an eight-game road trip, which ends Friday at Minnesota.

"It makes me feel good that we can come on the road and be successful and just makes me anxious to go home and play," Iverson said.

Utah has lost seven straight, falling to 11-22 for the season.

Carlos Boozer led Utah with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Harpring added 23 points for the Jazz, who haven't won since beating the Sixers 103-101 on Dec. 20.

"Our guys are so fragile right now that if something goes wrong, they want to hang their heads and feel bad. We're a pretty soft team," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

The Sixers led by 18 at halftime and let the lead slip to just a point but held off the Jazz in the final minutes to hand Utah its seventh straight loss. Philadelphia was 16-for-18 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to seal it.

"They made their run, we countered and we just kept picking it up and playing hard," Jackson said. "That was good we got to the foul line to be able to produce the free throws. That was important because that can make or break a game."

Iverson scored 51 in the last meeting with Utah, but the Sixers still lost. On Wednesday, he made up for the lower scoring total with his assists and leadership, taking several spills onto the court.

Carlos Arroyo, who scored 10 for Utah, hit a jumper at the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to 77-73, and Gordan Giricek hit a shot from the corner to pull Utah to 80-79, but the Sixers
came right back with a 3-pointer by Kyle Korver.

The Jazz were making another run late in the game before Iverson took over.

Iverson stole the ball from Boozer before diving onto the court after it and calling a timeout with 3:22 remaining and Philadelphia up 97-89. The Sixers didn't score on that possession but did reclaim some momentum with the hustle play.

Arroyo and Boozer both hit jumpers to get the Jazz within four, but Iverson blew past Utah rookie Kirk Snyder for an open jumper to make it 99-93, and Philadelphia coasted the rest of the way.

"We had our chances in the second half to win the game, but the first quarter killed us," Giricek said. "They had a tremendous first quarter."

Game notes
Thomas made his first eight attempts and didn't miss until his first shot of the second quarter. ... Utah outrebounded
Philadelphia 40-35. ... Philadelphia's 39 points in the first quarter was the most scored in a quarter against Utah this season, topping the 36 Orlando scored on Nov. 17 in a 107-92 loss. ... Corliss Williamson hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer, but it was waved off and the call was upheld after a video review.


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