PHILADELPHIA , Nov. 25 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson
and the Philadelphia
76ers were in control. So they did not have to worry about a
game-winning shot by David Wesley
and the New Orleans Hornets.
Iverson scored 29 points to lead six players in double figures
as Philadelphia remained unbeaten at home with a 108-87 victory
over New Orleans.
On Tuesday, the Sixers nearly rallied from a 22-point
first-quarter deficit but dropped a 99-98 loss at New Orleans
when Wesley rebounded Jamal Mashburn's
miss and flipped in the
game-winner just before the buzzer.
"They remember (the last encounter), and rightfully so,"
Mashburn said. "It's all a part of the game. They were
intense. We seemed to come out a little sluggish. We couldn't
find any rhythm."
Wesley again was held to six points, making just 2-of-10 shots.
Philadelphia dominated this one at both ends of the court in the
second half, holding the Hornets to 36 percent (13-of-36)
shooting and outscoring them, 52-40, over the final 24 minutes.
Iverson finished 11-of-20 from the floor and had 18 points at
halftime, helping the Sixers take a 56-47 lead into the locker
added 15 points, while Keith Van Horn
chipped in 14 apiece for Philadelphia, which had a 56-40
scoring edge in the paint.
"I think this was one of our best games overall as a team,"
Iverson said. "I thought we did a great job of looking out for
our teammates, finding the open man, and this is the way we need
to play. When we play like this, we're a tough team to beat."
The Hornets got within seven points early in the fourth quarter,
but the Sixers used a 12-0 run to pull away.
jumper made it 78-71 with 10:36 remaining, but it
was New Orleans' last basket for nearly four minutes.
Iverson started the spurt with a layup, McKie hit a 3-pointer to
restore the Sixers' double-digit lead and, after four straight
free throws, he made another 3-pointer at 7:58.
As Philadelphia pulled away, the Hornets missed six straight
baskets and committed three of their 16 turnovers.
"I think tonight was one of those nights where we did close the
game out," McKie said. "We had a lot of opportunities earlier in
the year with other games where we had opportunities to close
teams out and we didn't do so.
"I think for the most part, every time they made a run at us we
had a pretty comfortable lead. You almost have to expect that
teams in this league are going to make runs at you. With this
game, it's played in peaks and valleys. It's so up and down
that you almost have that teams are going to make runs like
New Orleans' offensive woes began early as it fell behind by 13
points after one period and 51-33 on a fadeaway jumper by
Iverson with 3:38 remaining in the first half.
But the Hornets battled back and closed the second quarter on a
14-5 run to get within single digits. Any momentum New Orleans
had was lost early in the second half.
While the Sixers made their first five shots of the third
quarter, the Hornets missed their first four and fell behind,
67-51. Iverson's only basket of the period was a jumper with
7:41 left that made it 69-51.
Iverson came within one of his fifth straight 30-point
performance, made 7-of-9 free throws and contributed four of
Philadelphia's 28 assists.
"I've just been working so hard on both ends of the floor and
trying to stay consistent," he said. "Before, I concentrated so
hard on getting a good shot and try to do everything on the
offensive end. Now I'm just giving 110 percent on both ends of
the court. Once you play good defense, it helps your offense."
The Sixers are 8-0 at home. Last season, they did not win their eighth
home game until January 11.
Mashburn, who scored a season-high 37 points in Tuesday's win,
was limited to 18, including two after halftime.