PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- All it took for the Philadelphia 76ers to
play well was for everyone to get involved.
Allen Iverson scored 25 points and keyed a decisive 15-0 run to
lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 112-97 win over the Dallas
Mavericks on Wednesday night.
"Everybody who came in the game did a heck of a job," coach
Maurice Cheeks said.
Keith Van Horn scored 19 points and Jason Terry 15 for the
Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki left late in the second quarter after
straining his back and did not return. Nowitzki scored 14 points on
5-for-8 shooting in the first half, and has averaged 26 points and
9.7 rebounds in three games.
Coach Avery Johnson said Nowitzki was day-to-day.
The Mavericks could have used Nowitzki, though it seemed nothing
could stop the Sixers once they got rolling.
Trailing by five points with about 1:35 left in the third
quarter, Iverson's 17-footer seemed nondescript enough at the time,
but it jump started easily the best stretch of basketball for the
Sixers this season.
Lee Nailon stole the ball off the inbounds pass and converted a
wide-open layup. Then Van Horn turned it over and Nailon's tip-in
off an Iverson miss gave the Sixers a 72-71 lead. Next time down,
Iverson scored on a nifty, off-balance layup from the left side and
Iguodala ended the quarter with two free throws for a 76-71 lead.
With the crowd in a frenzy, Iverson kept up the drives, the
fouls and the baskets to open the fourth, converting a three-point
play. John Salmons sank an 18-footer to cap the 15-0 run and give
the Sixers an 81-71 lead.
"That was probably the best basketball we've played all year,"
The Sixers thin and underwhelming bench got a rare boost from
Salmons, Nailon and James Thomas, who combined for 22 points, 13
rebounds and forced the clutch turnovers that spurred the win.
"If we come with the same spark every night, we'll put
ourselves with a good chance to win the game," Nailon said.
With Nowitzki out and guard Devin Harris forced to leave in the
third with a sprained left ankle, the Mavericks never got going
spanning the third and fourth quarters and watched the Sixers build
a 19-point lead.
"They put it on us in the second half," Johnson said. "During
that stretch they had, they penetrated well and we didn't handle
Korver's 3-pointer early in the fourth stretched the lead to
91-75 and the slumping forward earned a rousing ovation from the
fans who booed him only days earlier. Korver sorely needed this
game and shows signs of snapping out his early funk.
He set the team 3-point record last year, but made only two the
first three games and scored only eight points. He followed that
with five 3s in a 15-point effort in a win Saturday at Indiana.
Only two of his nine baskets against the Mavericks were from
3-point range, but Korver has been trying to score more from inside
the arc this year.
"I was obviously frustrated," Korver said. "I'm trying to
expand my game and everything, and there are some nights you just
can't make anything and some nights like tonight I shot a couple of
shots that didn't feel good at all and they go in. It's just one of
Dallas went on a mini-rally late in the fourth, only to have
every run thwarted by Iverson.
Terry hit a 3-pointer to pull Dallas within 10, then Iverson hit
a jumper. Van Horn scored on a driving layup, then Iverson hit
another jumper. And when Terry hit another 3 to finally slice the
deficit to nine, Iverson sank two free throws to make it 104-93.
Webber had two thunderous dunks in the waning minutes, Iverson
added another basket and the crowd erupted and gave the Sixers a
standing ovation as they huddled at halfcourt.
Sixers C Samuel Dalembert could miss another 10 days to two
weeks with the strained right quad that's forced him out of action
all of this year. "It wasn't healing the way it was supposed to
heal," he said. ... The shot clocks did not work for most of the
game, forcing the time to be announced over the public address
system every few seconds. ... Harris also is day-to-day. ...
Phillies 1B and NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard earned a standing
ovation from the crowd when he was introduced.