PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 22 (Ticker) --
When Allen Iverson
is making 55-foot shots, he is really tough to guard.
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Iverson's launch at the end of the third period triggered a fourth-quarter burst that kept the Philadelphia 76ers perfect at
home with a 90-80 victory over the slumping Toronto Raptors.
Iverson had a super all-around game with 31 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. He did not shoot well,
making just 11-of-28 shots and missing a handful of layups and free throws. But he made his toughest shot.
The 76ers had fought back from an early 14-point deficit to take a 63-60 lead before Toronto's Alvin Williams made a 10-footer with 0.8 seconds to go. Many players relaxed, believing Philadelphia would simply inbound and let the clock expire.
But Iverson had other ideas. He allowed the inbounds pass to bounce a couple of times and ran behind it before flinging it in
as the horn sounded, bringing a roar from the crowd and giving the Sixers a four-point lead.
"That's something I do in practice all the time," Iverson said. "So obviously it came in handy.
"The crowd got into it at that point and we just used the momentum from that to carry on into the fourth quarter."
Iverson congratulated a fan at Madison Square Garden who last weekend made a half-court shot worth $1 million.
"You can't compare that because I didn't get the million dollars," Iverson said. "I need a million dollars for the shot.
I wish I had taken that shot for a million dollars."
Philadelphia opened the fourth quarter with a 17-6 burst that opened its largest lead at 83-68 with 5:17 remaining. Keith Van Horn scored the final seven points on a fast-break layup, a dunk and a three-pointer.
Van Horn had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Todd MacCulloch added 10 points for the Sixers (9-4), who improved to 7-0 at home.
Antonio Davis scored a season-high 27 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight games. Toronto had won six of its last seven visits to Philadelphia.
The Sixers trailed for most of the first half but finally caught the Raptors at 57-57 on a fast-break layup by Iverson with 3:41 left in the third quarter. He made a jumper for a 61-60 lead and threw an alley-oop pass that Brian Skinner turned into a layup before Williams made his shot -- and Iverson made his.
"The momentum was already starting to shift," Van Horn said. "That shot put it over the top."
"I can't recall throughout my entire basketball career making a shot that long," said Sixers guard Aaron McKie, an eight-year veteran. "It helps when you can go into the fourth quarter up four instead of one. It got the crowd involved."
Iverson had three free throws and a steal and layup to push the lead to 75-66 with 7:38 left. Jermaine Jackson made two foul shots, but Skinner sank one before Van Horn's flurry.
A three-pointer by Iverson made it 86-71 with 4:24 remaining. That was the last basket for Philadelphia, but Toronto got no closer than eight points.
"That (Iverson's shot) wasn't the game, it was a highlight," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "All of a sudden, we didn't
get off the screens as quickly as we had been. We didn't go inside as much as we had earlier and we did a poor job of
The Sixers shot 47 percent (37-of-79) and scored 25 points off turnovers. They got a big boost from Derrick Coleman, who had nine points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
"We can go deep," said Skinner, who added seven points and six boards. "Some ballclubs go just six or seven (players). I
think we can go nine or 10 if need be."
Williams scored 15 points and Voshon Lenard added 13 for the Raptors, who shot just 33 percent (27-of-81), including just 11-of-38 in the second half.
"That's just the story for us right now," Williams said. "We get out on teams, give up leads, and I'm not sure what the
Davis nearly outscored Philadelphia in the first quarter, collecting 14 points as Toronto built a 29-15 lead. But Coleman
scored the first four points of a 12-1 spurt that cut the deficit to 32-29 midway through the second quarter, and
Philadelphia trailed just 42-39 at halftime.
"I felt we had a real difficult first half," Brown said. "We didn't execute very well. Fortunately, our bench came in and
gave us a little life and we got some easy baskets."