BOSTON, March 22 (Ticker) --
With Allen Iverson
hospitalized with a left hand fracture, Eric Snow
and Derrick Coleman
took charge of the offense for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Snow scored 17 points and Coleman added 15 as the 76ers battled to their fifth straight road win, a 96-91 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Iverson hurt his left hand in the first half but played through it, scoring 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. But he was seen holding his hand on several occasions and did not come out for the second half.
"He would shoot with his left hand in a sling," Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "He's got such a big heart. He played through it."
NBA TV highlights from Sixers-Celtics:
Iverson scored 22 points before going to the hospital.
"He told me it was broken as soon as it happened," Snow said. "He kept telling me it was broken and this was before he hit the two threes. That just shows you the grit."
The NBA leader in scoring and steals, Iverson was taken to New England Baptist Hospital, where the break was discovered. The team announced Iverson would miss four to six weeks, meaning he could be sidelined into the playoffs, should the 76ers qualify.
"The kid is playing as good as anyone in the league," Brown said. "You just don't replace him. We've just got to find a way. It's something we've done before. We've just all got to do a great job and that's just the way it is."
"It's really unfortunate," Snow added. "That kid worked so hard to get through his surgery at the beginning of the year and he's the main part of our team. He's what we're all about -- grit, effort, working hard and playing hard. But we've got to survive. He would want us to do that."
Snow nearly had a triple-double, adding nine assists and nine rebounds. He made 6-of-12 shots after making just 5-of-28 in his last two games.
Coleman, who missed the last game with a hyperextended left knee that may have a cartilage tear, also pulled down 15 rebounds.
Both players were at their best in the fourth quarter. Coleman made three straight baskets to give the 76ers the lead for good at 92-86 with five minutes remaining. Snow scored 10 points in the period, including a driving layup that restored a 94-90 lead with 1:50 left and two clinching free throws with 19 seconds to go. Matt Harpring
scored 12 points and Speedy Claxton
added 11 off the bench for the 76ers (36-32), who remained sixth in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of Indiana and Charlotte.
"We beat a very good team in their building with a lot of adversity. It's pretty darn pleasing," Brown said.
"Either you deal with it and keep going on or you just stop and shrivel up," Coleman said. Paul Pierce
scored 26 points and Antoine Walker added 17 for the Celtics (39-30), who have lost nine of the last 10 meetings with the Sixers and fell five games behind first-place New Jersey in the Atlantic Division. Boston is third in the East.
"We didn't play with a sense of urgency," Pierce said. "We didn't have a war mentality in the second half. We must have thought we could just cakewalk it with Iverson not playing in the second half."
While the Sixers played capably without Iverson in the fourth quarter, the Celtics seemed content to fire away from long range. They were 1-of-10 from 3-point range in the final period and 11-of-19 overall.
Snow had a three-point play early in the fourth quarter that gave Philadelphia an 81-77 lead. His pull-up jumper made it 86-61 with 7:17 to go.
Boston tied it on two free throws by Pierce and a 3-pointer by Walker, but Coleman made a long jumper, a follow shot and a lane jumper in traffic to rebuild the lead to six points.
A drive and two free throws by Walker preceded Snow's layup. The Celtics won a pair of jump balls, but Kenny Anderson
missed a layup and Tony Delk
missed a 3-pointer. Pierce split a pair from the line and Snow clinched it with his free throws.
"We stepped it up defensively more than anything, tried to limit them to one shot and make them take tough shots," Coleman said.
Philadelphia shot 45.5 percent (35-of-77) and dominated the boards, holding a 50-34 advantage. Dikembe Mutombo
swept 10 rebounds. Rodney Rogers
scored 15 points for Boston, which shot 42 percent (32-of-77).
The Celtics led by as many as 15 points early in the second quarter, but Iverson scored 13 to cut the deficit to 50-45 at halftime. The Sixers took their first lead at 54-53 on Claxton's driving layup with 9:17 left in the third quarter.
"We just let them dictate the tempo and dictate the game for some reason. Why? I don't know," Pierce said. "These are important games. We've got to realize that."