PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Still playing with a sore foot, Allen
Iverson came back and invigorated fading Philadelphia.
"Having Allen back rejuvenated us a little bit," coach Maurice
Iverson, the NBA's second-leading scorer with an average of 33.2
points, missed the last four games after he bruised and sprained
his foot against Memphis on March 12. The Sixers lost all four
games without him and have a tenuous hold on the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia sure was glad to see Iverson in the lineup. The
Sixers are only 2-6 this season without the former MVP.
"I hope they were glad I was back and I hope that I did give
them some type of confidence," he said. "It's important for my
confidence for me to feel wanted and be able to go out there and
make something happen."
With Iverson back in action, the Sixers put this one away early
-- a rarity for a team that has had frequent fourth-quarter
collapses. He looked sharp and never seemed bothered by the foot,
missing only one shot and scoring 11 points in the second quarter
to help Philadelphia to a 67-48 halftime lead. It was the most
points scored in a half by the Sixers this season.
Iverson complained of soreness after the Sixers won for only the
second time in nine games.
"I didn't expect it to be this sore after the game," he said.
"It's just something I'll have to deal with, get treatment and get
Andre Iguodala had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who
shot 51 percent from the floor. The Sixers made 10 of 15
Iverson also had 12 assists and Webber grabbed 10 boards, giving
Philadelphia three players with double-doubles for the second time
"Any time you don't have a player like Allen play for four
consecutive games, you're going to miss him," Cheeks said.
"You're going to miss his scoring, his drive, a lot of things."
"We haven't had many games like that where we weren't in the
game," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "Give them credit, they
needed the win and they played like it."
Playing the woeful Hawks also helped the slumping Sixers. With
Iverson scoring most of his points from the foul line in the third
quarter, Korver took over. He sank two 3s and finished with 10
points in the quarter. He went 6-for-7 from 3-point range and made
his first seven shots overall before missing a layup early in the
Korver came right back to hit another 3, giving the Sixers a
99-76 lead. The Hawks left their starters in most of the rest of
the game, which kept the score from looking like a total blowout.
While there may always be some thought that the Sixers would be
better off without Iverson, Korver said they need him in the lineup
for their playoff push.
"There's this perception that we don't like playing with him or
something, and that's not the case," he said. "I still can't
figure out how he can miss that many days and come back and play
The Sixers scored 66 points in a half twice this season,
both in November. ... Cheeks had a snappy comeback when asked if
the injury was going to make him watch Iverson's minutes. "I'm
going to watch all 48 of them," he said, laughing. Iverson played
42. ... Sixers C Samuel Dalembert is upset he's been demoted in
favor of Steven Hunter. "I wish they would tell me one specific
thing I need to get done and, trust me, I would be focused on that
one thing and would make sure I would get it done," Dalembert
said. ... The Sixers season-high point total was 125 in a
triple-overtime game against Boston. ... Ty Pennington, the
hyperactive team leader of ABC's home improvement series "Extreme
Makeover: Home Edition," was at the game.
Stephen Jackson explains on The Jump why he is interested in coming out of retirement to play in the NBA again, and comedian Michael Rapaport wastes no time in trying to recruit him to play for the New York Knicks.
Dwight Howard, who became a free agent when he declined his player option with the Rockets, has granted meetings to the Hawks and Celtics, sources say.
Erik Spoelstra, who twice has led the Heat to NBA titles, is nearing an extension with the team, a source said, confirming The Vertical's original report.