PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson
became the first NBA
player in four years to record back-to-back 50-point games. It
was not enough.
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grabbed a key offensive rebound and nailed a pair of
free throws with 4.6 seconds left to lift the Utah Jazz to a
103-101 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers, ruining a second
straight Herculean performance by Iverson.
"It's a bad feeling. We had this one," said Iverson, who became
the first player in franchise history to have consecutive
A three-time scoring champion, Iverson scored 54 points in a
116-97 triumph at Milwaukee on Saturday and had 19 at the half
in this one, which ended with his team behind, 57-41.
Iverson produced 21 points in the third quarter to stake the
Sixers to a 79-77 lead, and - after Kyle Korver
began the fourth
quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers - sank a pair of free
throws to open an 87-77 cushion with 10:36 left.
"We had such a great effort trying to get back into the game,"
Iverson said. "Once we got back into it, and got a lead, we
just couldn't keep that lead. ... They kept fighting in a
hostile environment, and they got it done."
But the Jazz did not wilt, rallying behind Carlos Arroyo
to grab a 101-96 lead on a pair of free throws by
Boozer with 2:04 left. Iverson answered with a scoop shot -
which gave him 51 points - and Korver added another 3-pointer to
tie the game, but Iverson missed a jumper from the right elbow
with 31 seconds left that would have given the Sixers the lead.
Former Sixer Matt Harpring
missed a jumper near the foul line
with five seconds left but Okur grabbed the rebound and was
fouled by Iverson, who picked up his sixth personal and had to
exit the contest.
Okur calmly sank his pair of free throws, and following a
timeout, Philadelphia's Willie Green
missed a bank shot and
a tip just before the buzzer.
"I think that he's learning more about what we're trying to,"
Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said of Okur, who contributed 20
points and 10 rebounds off the bench. "He can really shoot the
ball. He's one of our better shooters and he's very efficient
in what he is trying to do."
Boozer collected 28 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which
snapped a seven-game road losing streak.
"It's big time for us," Boozer said. "We withstood an
incredible run by A.I. - he took over the game in the second
half. We weathered that storm, we got some big offensive
rebounds and came back and won. Hopefully we can build on this
and use this to boost us for the rest of the season."
"We started feeling sorry for ourselves a little bit in the
second half when they made their comeback," Sloan said. "But
fortunately, we stuck together and a couple of guys made some
real hard hustle plays. That's how you get back together. We
have to learn how to earn a win rather that give it to
Iverson made 18-of-31 shots and 11-of-17 free throws to become
the first player since Antawn Jamison
to record 50 points in
consecutive contests. Jamison, then with Golden State, scored
51 points at Seattle on Dec. 3, 2000 and matched that effort
three days later vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.
"It's a good feeling getting in to a flow," Iverson said. "I
don't like going out there and then after the game, feel like I
could have done a lot better. I'm getting into a groove and
hopefully I won't have to score 50 points. I just hope I can do
anything to help our team be successful."
Iverson expects this game to be forgotten quickly as
Philadelphia is about to embark on an eight-game road trip that
will have the team on the road until Jan. 10.
"If you worry how you played in one game, going nine times out
of 10 you'll have the same problem in the next game," Iverson
said. "You can't worry about something negative that went on
last game. All we are going to think about is getting on a roll
and trying to compete. On the road, everything is going to be
against us, and that's when you really need your teammates."