L.A. Clippers 89, Philadelphia 83
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2 (Ticker) --
By the time the Philadelphia 76ers got
around to helping Allen Iverson
, it was too late.
Iverson scored 35 points but was a one-man team for most of an
89-83 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, who got 26 points apiece
from Elton Brand
and Corey Maggette
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The NBA scoring leader at 29 points per game, Iverson appeared
to be playing 1-on-5 in the first half. He scored 20 points on
9-of-14 from the floor while his teammates managed just 13 on
"It has been like that," Iverson said. "You would hope that
guys wouldn't come out flat. It's just like having a sense of
urgency. We have to understand that from the beginning of the
game to the end, we have to play the same way. You can't wait
until you get down and feel like you could lose the game and
say, 'Now it's time to win it.'
"To me, this is the funnest sport in the world. You shouldn't
have any problems going out there on the basketball court and
giving it your all. You learn that in grade school."
When Iverson briefly went cold midway through the second
quarter, there was no one there to pick up the slack.
Philadelphia went scoreless for nearly six minutes as it missed
four free throws and committed three turnovers.
A jumper by Iverson finally ended the drought at the 3:34 mark.
By that time, the Clippers had opened a 39-27 lead and remained
in control thereafter despite some hairy moments.
Leading by 24 points late in the third quarter, Los Angeles saw
its lead shaved to 71-63 with 9:40 to go on a three-point play
by Kenny Thomas
, who scored 14 points. That marked the first
time since the opening period that Iverson's teammates had more
points than him.
"Iverson is going to get his points," Maggette said. "If their
role players come in and score 10 to 12 points, it is going to
hurt you. We tried to cut that down. The role players weren't
able to hurt us."
Having surrendered a 10-0 run, the Clippers answered with one of
their own fueled by five points from Maggette, rebuilding the
lead to 18 points.
Trying to take advantage of a season-high 28 turnovers by the
Clippers, the Sixers closed to 85-80 on two free throws by
Thomas with 1:17 left. Iverson forced a jump ball but lost it
to Rick Brunson
, and L.A. held on.
"You've got to play 48 minutes," Iverson said. "We didn't play
in the first half. We got down 20 points and then used all of
our energy to try and get back in the game."
"I can't believe we actually won the game with 28 turnovers,"
Clippers center Chris Kaman
said. "We played great defense but
fell apart a little bit down the stretch."
Brand also grabbed 12 rebounds and gave Philadelphia fits
inside. Maggette made 9-of-12 free throws as he led a parade to
the foul line by Los Angeles, which was 30-of-37 from the
scored 12 points -- all on 3-pointers -- for
Philadelphia, which fell to 3-2 on its eight-game road swing.
Kaman had 13 points and 12 boards for the Clippers, who went 2-1
on their homestand. They had all five starters in double
"It was good to see Chris hit the boards and get some points,"
Brand said. "He's been playing well in practice. Everyone
contributed tonight and it was a nice win."
After Iverson and Thomas, Philadelphia contributions were hard to find. Starters Andre Iguodala
, Willie Green
and Samuel Dalembert
combined for three
points on 1-of-10 shooting, which led to Iverson -- who was
16-of-30 -- being asked if he should have shot more.
"I'm so much into the game I don't think about if I am scoring
or not," he said. "If I'm not scoring, I'm doing other things
out there on the basketball court. That's what I want to do. If
I'm not scoring, I hope I'm playing defense and getting guys
involved in trying to make the game easier for everybody else."
"Man, he's a handful," Maggette said. "Rick and I were just talking about A.I. He's one in a
million, a guy who can continually play 40-plus minutes a game
every night and play the way he plays. I'm just glad tonight we
were able to withstand him."