MILWAUKEE, Dec. 18 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson
torched the Milwaukee Bucks
Iverson scored a league season-high 54 points - the sixth
50-point game of his career - as the Philadelphia 76ers rode
their superstar to a 116-97 victory over the defenseless Bucks.
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Six days ago, Iverson lit up Milwaukee for his 51st career
40-point game in a 107-101 win. This time, he was even better.
The three-time scoring champion made 17-of-29 shots and 16-of-21
free throws. He made three early 3-pointers to spread the
defense for his penetration and repeatedly attacked the big men
of the Bucks.
"I felt good. My shot was on," Iverson said. "Coach called all
the right plays. He found out that I was in a rhythm and he
called the plays."
"He just made a lot of jump shots against us," Bucks coach Terry
Porter said. "He's made jump shots against us for two games."
After turning back a rally by Milwaukee in the third quarter,
Philadelphia reclaimed control in the final period. Iverson put
the finishing touch on his performance with another 3-pointer
at the 3:13 mark, then took a seat shortly thereafter, helping
the Sixers shake off Friday's tough home loss to New York.
"We come in here and we didn't have a letdown," said Iverson,
who also had eight rebounds and five assists. "That is the most
important thing and it shows a lot of character."
"He's our leader and he showed us that tonight," forward Kyle Korver
said. "We had a tough loss last night and to come back
like he did tonight ... he just led our team." Iverson surpassed
the 53 points scored by Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki
in an overtime
win on December 2. He notched his first 50-point game since
November 29, 2003 vs. Atlanta and also eclipsed 15,000 points
for his career.
"Without my teammates, there's no way it could be done," said
Iverson, who also acknowledged all of his coaches back to high
school. "Those guys set the screens. Those guys get the
rebounds. Those guys play hard for you night in and night out.
So it makes me feel good."
The explosion matched Iverson's second-highest total of his
career, established January 6, 2001 at Cleveland. He scored a
career-high 58 points in an overtime win over Houston on January
Five of Iverson's 52 career 40-point games have come against the
Bucks, who have lost four in a row.
"Tremendous game by him; he made big plays all game long," Bucks
All-Star guard Michael Redd
said. "He just played an
outstanding game, hitting all kinds of shots, and that's what he
Even the signing of guard Eddie House
earlier in the day could
not help the Bucks, who also used Maurice Williams
"It was not so much the guys defending Allen, we are setting
good screens at the top of the key," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien
said. "You can't point at Mike James
or Mo Williams
or the guy
Iverson scored 17 points in the first quarter, matching
Milwaukee's total and giving Philadelphia a 12-point lead. He
scored 10 straight Sixers points late in the second period and
went to halftime with 33 points.
The Bucks used a 13-0 run to close to 64-63 midway through the
third quarter before Marc Jackson
responded with a three-point
play. Iverson reached 40 points on two free throws with 1:46
left to give the Sixers a 76-67 lead, and the Bucks never really
"I just had to monitor whether or not I thought he was
fatigued," O'Brien said. "When he got hot, I wanted to call his
play as many times as I possibly can to make my job a lot
Rookie Andre Iguodala
scored 18 points for the Sixers. Redd
scored 29 points for the Bucks, who saw forward Desmond Mason
ejected for arguing late in the third quarter.