PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 12 (Ticker) --
It seemed like a highly unlikely game
for Allen Iverson
to sink his first career game-winning
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Iverson shook off an awful performance to make a 14-footer at
the overtime horn and give the Philadelphia 76ers a thrilling
106-104 victory over the depleted Indiana Pacers.
"It's just a great feeling to hit a shot with no more time left
on the clock and they can't do nothing about it," Iverson said.
"It's something that never happened for me. I've had the
winning free throws, but it's not the same thing as hitting the
game-winning shot. I might have hit shots that put us ahead,
but just that one right there is a feeling that I can't even
Second in the NBA in scoring at 28.2 points per game, Iverson
had one of the worst outings of his career, making 5-of-23
shots and committing seven turnovers. Iverson could not find
the range, was sloppy while running the offense and was on the
bench when Philadelphia climbed back into the game in the second
But the Sixers forced overtime on the seventh 3-pointer by Kyle Korver
, a 28-footer with 3.7 seconds in regulation. Korver
scored a career-high 23 points.
"That wasn't the play we drew up in the huddle," Korver said.
"Our initial play was to pass into Marc Jackson
, run a couple
of player screens. That obviously didn't happen, so we pitched
it back and forth. I knew we needed a three so I went back as
far as I needed to go to get it off. I shot it and it went in."
"That play was a mistake by our coaching staff," Pacers coach
Rick Carlisle said. "We gave our guys a coverage that wasn't
the right coverage and it cost us. If we hadn't, Korver
wouldn't have gotten that wide open look."
In the extra session, Iverson finally found a rhythm with a
runner that tied it at 104-104 with 1:19 to play. On
Philadelphia's next possession, Iverson missed a jumper to fall
to 4-of-22. But Indiana's James Jones
also missed a jumper,
setting the stage for Iverson's heroics.
From right of the top of the circle, Iverson dribbled down Eddie Gill
into the lane, stopped short and leaned into a jumper that
rattled in as the buzzer sounded, giving the 76ers their second
straight win in overtime.
"I didn't have any doubt that I was going to take the last shot
if I was played man-to-man," Iverson said. "I honestly feel
like my teammate expected me to, but they had their hands ready
if guys came off of them."
Iverson entered the NBA in 1996 and has collected five All-Star
berths, three scoring titles and an MVP award. But he had never
made a pure game-winning shot, although he had one to beat
Germany in an exhibition game last summer.
"Allen had a tough shooting night," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien
said. "He had some good looks at the basket. His shots didn't
fall until that last one, but who cares about the other 18."
"I've found out in my career that if I do keep playing
regardless of struggling, something positive will happen,"
Marc Jackson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers, who
erased an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes of the
fourth quarter. On Wednesday, they rallied from six points down
with 70 seconds left to defeat New Jersey in overtime.
In this one, the Sixers outlasted the Pacers, who used their
size advantage and 3-point shooting to build a 17-point lead in
the third quarter but simply ran out of bodies. Dressing just
eight players, Indiana lost Jermaine O'Neal
points), Jamaal Tinsley
(10 assists) and reserve center David Harrison
to fouls in overtime.
"The difference in the game was the ref calling a foul on me
when I got elbowed in the face," O'Neal said. "Also the foul on
Jamaal when Iverson jumps into him. It upsets me that the game
can be taken away from us."
scored 29 points in his return from a two-game
benching and Stephen Jackson
added 17 points for the Pacers, who
have lost two in a row after opening the season with four wins.
Indiana made 11 3-pointers but none in the final 12 minutes.
The Sixers could not have won without the hot-shooting Korver,
who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. His jumper made it
98-92 with 1:49 left, and Iverson added two free throws with 58
seconds to go.
made a free throw and Marc Jackson sank two, making
it 98-97 with 16 seconds to go. The Sixers fouled Austin
Croshere, who made both foul shots, setting the stage for
For the sixth time in as many games, the Sixers fell behind by
double digits. The deficit grew to 76-59 late in the third
period when Iverson missed a shot, threw away a pass and
committed an offensive foul on consecutive possessions before
taking a seat.
"We're not playing every quarter. We could easily be 0-and-6,"
he said. "Hopefully the light switch turns on and we start to