PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- 76ers coach Jim O'Brien figured keeping
Allen Iverson on the court was the best way for his team to win.
Iverson played all 48 minutes and scored 19 of his 32 points in
the first quarter, helping the Philadelphia 76ers snap a three-game
losing streak with a 106-96 victory over the Toronto Raptors on
Kenny Thomas added 20 points and 14 rebounds, a banged-up
Iverson had 10 assists and Kyle Korver scored 15 for the Sixers,
who hadn't won at home since Dec. 14.
"Over the last 16 games, Allen is shooting 46 percent, has a
two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio and is averaging 32 points.
When he's off the court, we're shooting 37 percent," O'Brien said.
"We've been playing him 42, 43 minutes. There's not much
difference with 48."
Iverson missed a game last week with a strained ankle and is
bothered by a shoulder injury.
"I'm struggling right now physically," Iverson said. "I
haven't been able to practice. I just try to save everything for
the game. Fortunately, I was able to do that tonight."
Donyell Marshall scored 20 points and Morris Peterson and Jalen
Rose each had 18 for the Raptors, who are 6-7 since trading Vince
Carter to New Jersey on Dec 17.
The Sixers pulled away in the fourth quarter with a 12-3 run. A
3-pointer by Korver off a nifty behind-the-back pass from Iverson
put the Sixers ahead 92-83. Andre Iguodala capped the run with a
jumper that made it 94-83.
Toronto didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
"We took too many 3s and some at the wrong time," Raptors
coach Sam Mitchell said of his team shooting 10-for-32 from beyond
the arc. "We had guys checking into the game and the first shot
they took was a 3. You can't do that on the road. We just didn't
Iverson airballed his first shot, but hardly missed again in the
opening quarter, making eight of his 12 shots, including three
3-pointers and a long jumper. He hit two 3s in the final minute of
the quarter, and Iguodala beat the buzzer with another 3 from way
beyond the arc.
"Allen got us going early and we just fed off him," said
Korver, who shot 5-of-8 on 3-pointers.
Peterson, coming off a career-best 37-point performance
Wednesday night against Boston in which he made seven 3-pointers,
shot 6-for-12, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range.
The Raptors took a 71-66 lead in the third quarter, causing some
fans in this football-crazed city to chant "E-A-G-L-E-S!"
Philadelphia hosts Minnesota in an NFC divisional playoff game on
The Sixers took their biggest lead to that point, 40-29, on a
running jumper by Iverson early in the second quarter. The teams
traded baskets most of the rest of the quarter, with the Sixers
taking a 57-50 into halftime after Marshall beat the buzzer with a
3-pointer for Toronto.<
^Notes: Iverson didn't have a steal, ending a streak of 50 straight
games with at least one. ... Sixers C Samuel Dalembert missed his
second straight game with a strained left hip. He won't travel with
the team to Detroit for Saturday's game. ... G John Salmons started
his sixth game in a row for Philadelphia, finishing with no points
in 22 minutes. ... The Raptors are 0-18 when their opponent scores
at least 100 points. ... Toronto is 2-18 on the road, including 11
straight losses. ... The Sixers played at home for just the second
time in 11 games. ... Iguodala had 15 points and 12 rebounds.