SEATTLE (AP) -- Allen Iverson's jumpers weren't falling, his
aggressive drives to the basket wouldn't drop and the usually
dependable free-throw shooter missed one in the final minute of a
Billed one way, Wednesday's Sixers-Sonics game pitted arguably the league's best scorer in AI against the league's best shooter in Ray Allen. Iverson scored 28, a shade below his 29.4 ppg average, while Allen (23 field goal attempts, 9 made) didn't measure up to his 45.2 season percentage. A closer look at the two when they go head to head:
Normally, when the Philadelphia 76ers are slumping and Iverson
doesn't play well, the losing continues. Not Wednesday night.
"In the last four games, I've been struggling. Just trying to
get my rhythm back I've been struggling with it," Iverson said.
"But the most positive thing when you're struggling is to win
anyway. That lets you know the type of guys you're playing with.
That's just a good feeling."
Iverson scored 12 of his 28 in the third quarter, when the 76ers
took control, then held on as Seattle rallied in the closing
But it wasn't Iverson making all the plays or taking all the
shots in the final moments.
Iguodala just missed a triple-double with 12 points, eight
rebounds and nine assists. Dalembert added 12 points and the 76ers'
bench outscored Seattle's 30-12.
Iverson made just 6 of 22 shots, but hit 14 of 16 free-throw
attempts. Philadelphia opened the season 3-0, but dropped its last
three and hadn't played since falling to at home to Denver 108-101
"To come on the road and get a win like this with the way
Seattle has been playing was huge for us," Philadelphia coach
Maurice Cheeks said.
Seattle saw its three-game win streak snapped, despite 25 points
and 15 rebounds from Rashard Lewis. Ray Allen added 22 points, but
was guarded tightly most of the night by Kevin Ollie and shot just
9-for-23 shooting and made only 2 of 7 shots in the fourth quarter.
He also split a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left when
two makes could have pulled Seattle within three.
The Sonics won the last three games of an East Coast road trip
and a win over the Sixers would have matched Seattle's longest win
streak from a season ago.
"Offensively we were scatterbrained," Allen said. "I think we
just took ourselves out of the game offensively."
The Sonics rallied in the closing minutes, pulling within 91-87
on Luke Ridnour's jumper with 59 seconds left. Iverson was fouled
and made 1 of 2 free throws with 37 seconds left. Allen was then
fouled, but split his free throws. Korver's free throws moved the
lead to 94-88 with 26 seconds left and Seattle turned it over on
its next possession.
Ridnour followed up his career-high 32 points against New Jersey
on Monday with 20 points and seven assists, but Seattle failed to
find a fourth scorer and got no help inside.
"We just weren't that good on offense," Seattle coach Bob Hill
said. "We were impatient and made some bonehead decisions."
Philadelphia took it's biggest lead at 80-65 early in the fourth
quarter, but Seattle scored the next nine points, capped by Allen's
high-banking, left-handed layup and was fouled. The three-point
play pulled Seattle within 80-74.
But Iverson made two free throws and Willie Green tipped in
Iguodala's missed dunk to put the lead back at 10, an advantage
that held off Seattle's final charge.
Philadelphia closed the third quarter on a 9-1 run capped by an
Iguodala dunk, after Seattle had closed within five.
Seattle scored a season-low 36 points in the first half.
... 76ers' rookie Bobby Jones, a Washington graduate, was active
for his second straight game and played two minutes of the first
half without scoring. ... Injured Sonics' C Robert Swift will have
surgery next week in Los Angeles on the torn ACL in his right knee.
Swift was injured in Seattle's next-to-last preseason game and will
miss the entire year.
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