PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson
scored 17 points in the
first quarter against the Orlando Magic. He barely slowed down
Iverson finished with a career- and NBA season-high 60 points as
the Philadelphia 76ers posted a 112-99 triumph over the Magic,
who lost for the 14th time in 17 road games.
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Iverson became the 18th different player to score 60 points in a
game. The last to do so was Tracy McGrady
, who had 62 for
Orlando against Washington last March 10.
"I've never witnessed a performance like this in person,"
Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien
said. "This is the greatest
performance that I've ever witnessed. I think we are witnessing
one of the great careers in the NBA, put on by one of the most
talented, tough and big-hearted guys that you'll ever see on the
"I think we should all enjoy this while Allen is still in the
NBA. I sure am enjoying coaching him."
A three-time scoring champ who entered this one leading the
league at 29.0 points per game, including two with at least 50,
Iverson staked the 76ers to a 31-22 edge after one quarter. He
added 12 points in the second period to help open a 62-44
cushion at the break.
"I just felt that I was in real good rhythm," Iverson said.
"The craziest thing about it, it wasn't a jump-shooting rhythm.
It was just constantly attacking all night long. That's what I
did and I guess that's why I went to the free-throw line as
much as I did."
After Orlando reduced a 25-point third-quarter deficit to 82-71
on a jumper by Pat Garrity
with six seconds left in the period,
Iverson nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give him 40 points
entering the fourth. He has six 40-point games this season and
56 in his career.
"I didn't settle for jump shots," Iverson said. "(Orlando)
decided to play me one-on-one during the game and I just made
them pay for it. I asked them, 'When are you going to trap me?'
and they had a blank look on their faces and didn't answer. I
assumed that they didn't know what to do at that point."
Iverson, who made 17-of-36 shots and 24-of-27 free throws,
reached 50 points when he sank the first of a pair of free
throws with 5:27 left. He matched his previous career high of
58 points - set vs. Houston on January 17, 2002 - with two free
throws with 2:53 remaining, then reached the 60-point threshold
on another pair from the line with 1:07 to play.
"It feels good right now," Iverson said. "Just knowing that we
won the basketball game is the most important thing. I scored a
career high and we won the game, that's how you draw it up in
"He put relentless pressure on our defense, and then when he
wasn't shooting free throws, he did hit some baskets," Orlando
coach Johnny Davis
said. "We tried to make a game of it late,
but Iverson for sure controlled the game tonight. When we made
a stretch run at him, he took over again, and made the baskets
they had to have to keep their momentum going."
Iverson also became just the second player in franchise history
to score 60 points in a game. The other was Wilt Chamberlain,
who did it three times with the team. The last time was on
December 16, 1967, when he scored 68 vs. Chicago.
"When you talk to me and mention Wilt Chamberlain in the
sentence with me, I don't have any more words after that,"
Iverson said. "You mention somebody who is six feet, 165 pounds
soaking wet and somebody seven some feet. That says a lot
about the coaches that I've had in my career, the teammates that
I've played with, and the family and friends that helped me get
to this point. It's a tribute to the people that helped me get
here and believed in me."
collected 32 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists
for Orlando, which beat Philadelphia on January 22, 115-111,
overcoming 38 points by Iverson.