PHILADELPHIA, May 11 (Ticker) --
Three days after blowing a chance
to even the series, Allen Iverson
seized his second opportunity.
NBA TV highlights from|
Nestlé Crunch Time:
The superstar guard scored 15 of his 36 points in the fourth
quarter and added 11 assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a
95-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons, squaring their Eastern
Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
Admitting he "let one slip away" Thursday in Game Two when he
missed two free throws with 15 seconds left in regulation of
Thursday's overtime loss at Detroit, Iverson made sure the
Sixers would get even Sunday with a terrific all-around
"I'm not surprised at all. I feel good about what we
accomplished," said Iverson, who was 13-of-27 from the field and
9-of-13 from the line. "You know, I like back-to-back games a
whole lot. I was just looking forward to tying this thing up."
The Sixers won games in back-to-back days here with Iverson
dishing out a total of 22 assists to go with 61 points.
"That's what makes their team so hard to play," Pistons coach
Rick Carlisle said. "You have to deal with him and all the
chain reactions he causes out there. Obviously, we'll have to
do a better job. We didn't do a good job the last couple games
Game Five is Wednesday at Detroit.
The Pistons did a better job on the boards than they did on
Saturday, when they were outrebounded, 48-30, but again had a
rough shooting night, going more than 5 1/2 minutes without a
point in the second quarter when the Sixers went on an 11-0 run
to open a 42-30 lead.
Iverson hit a 14-foot jumper, a pair of free throws and an
18-foot fadeway to highlight the spurt.
The Pistons hit just 4-of-17 shots in the second quarter, the
last field goal a hook shot in the lane by Zeljko Rebraca
6:34 left in the half. Detroit did not score again until
hit a free throw with 1:21 remaining.
A finger roll by Iverson increased Philadelphia's lead to 57-43
with 4:21 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Iverson hit 6-of-8 shots, including his
only 3-pointer of the night, and two free throws.
Iverson sank three jumpers as the Sixers started the fourth
quarter with a 9-3 run to match their biggest lead at 70-56.
Detroit would get no closer than nine on a layup by Corliss
with 3:31 left. But Iverson responded with his only
3-pointer to virtually seal the win.
"Chasing him around is always tough," Hamilton said. "I'm
running on offense and I'm running on defense. But I'm cool.
That's what the playoffs are about. You have to grind it out
and leave everything on the floor."
Hamilton led Detroit with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, but
the rest of the Pistons shot 38 percent from the field
(19-of-50). Chucky Atkins
was the only other Piston in double
figures with 11 points.
"We have some things we can do to get shots but we have to be
more aggressive ourselves," Atkins said. "We'll go back to the
drawing board. I expect us to be a lot more aggressive both
offensively and defensively."
Detroit also committed 18 turnovers which led to 22 points.
"We had too many turnovers and they (the Sixers) only had
eight," Carlisle said. "It's hard to win when you turn it over
as much as we did."
Starting point guard Chauncey Billups
returned after missing the
last two games with a sprained ankle, but missed 5-of-6 shots
and finished with three points in 23 minutes.
Philadelphia's Derrick Coleman
and Kenny Thomas
and Clifford Robinson
inside. Coleman had 14 points
and 15 rebounds and Thomas added 14 points. Wallace grabbed 15
rebounds, but scored just seven points and Robinson finished
with five points on 2-of-9 shooting. Tayshaun Prince
, the hero
of Game Two, was also just 2-of-9 from the field for Detroit.
"D.C. (Coleman), Kenny (Thomas), our big guys defensively for
the most part were sensational," Sixers coach Larry Brown said.
"And Allen's overall game just keeps getting better and better."
76ers forwward Tyrone Hill
strained his right calf in the third
quarter and did not return.