PHILADELPHIA, April 6 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson
may have scored 48
points, but he won the game with his defense.
Iverson denied Cory Alexander
the ball, leading to a turnover by
, as the Philadelphia 76ers again held on for a
106-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
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It was the 58th career 40-point game and eighth this season for
Iverson, who is headed for his fourth scoring title. However,
his biggest play came at the other end of the floor.
A 3-pointer by Iverson opened a 102-95 lead with 4:07 remaining,
but the 76ers did not score from the field again and saw the
lead dwindle to 104-103 on two free throws by Alexander with 34
Iverson, who made 17-of-31 shots and 13-of-14 free throws,
missed a pull-up jumper and Samuel Dalembert
attempted a follow shot instead of running out the clock, giving
the Bobcats possession with 11 seconds to go and a chance for a
rare road win.
Charlotte wanted to inbound to Alexander, their backup point
guard. Iverson first cut off the passing lane, then a possible
handoff from Wallace, who was forced to create a shot. Dribbling
left, he put it off his foot and out of bounds with 3.4 seconds
"Allen did a great job of keeping the ball out of Alexander's
hands, because they wanted to run a middle pick-and-roll," 76ers
coach Jim O'Brien
said. "We forced someone that they didn't
want handling the basketball into a turnover. That was a big
(stance) for us."
"Iverson just took over defensively at that last stretch. He
denied the ball," Charlotte Coach Bernie Bickerstaff
sank two free throws and Iverson swatted away a
desperation pass before the horn, giving Philadelphia its second
straight hair-raising win.
"Sometimes you get up on a team, but they keep fighting,"
Iverson said. "It is something we have to learn to deal with.
We have to blow more people out to be able to deal with it."
scored 13 point for the 76ers (37-37), who held
onto eighth place in the Eastern Conference, moving within one
game of Cleveland and they remained 3 1/2 games behind
first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.
"It has been since the first day of camp," Jackson said. "The
first preseason game it happened. Every game, we were either
down and came back or we were up and we let the lead slip. That
is what we do. I would say it was a learning point, but come
on now. There are 80 games in a season, yet we are still doing
On Sunday, Philadelphia built a 26-point first-quarter lead
before hanging on for a 97-93 win at Boston.
had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Alexander scored
17 points for the Bobcats, who fell to 3-33 on the road and
5-15 in games decided by three points or less.
"We came back from 25 points, and had the ball on the last
possession, and like last night (a 104-102 loss to the Los
Angeles Clippers), we could not get it done," Brezec said. "It
Alexander played 28 minutes as Jason Hart
was sidelined with an
illness and starting point guard Brevin Knight
was ejected for
arguing with 8:41 to play. Rookie Emeka Okafor
was hit with a
technical foul 27 seconds later, and Bickerstaff had to call a
timeout to steady his team.
"Marc Jackson made a comment to me about us getting a technical
foul for having six men on the court," Knight said. "I said to
him, 'Marc, stop complaining. You are getting your calls.'
Then I get thrown out. Then he (referee Scott Wall) proceeds to
come to our bench and tell us that I used profanity. I never
said one curse word. That was one of the most off-the-wall
techs I have ever had in my career."
Whoever was playing point guard in the first half was torched by
Iverson, who had 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as
Philadelphia scored a season-high 66 points and took a 19-point
lead to the locker room.
"We could not stop Allen Iverson
," Wallace said. "He is the
league's MVP, and we were just having a rough night."
But by that point, the Bobcats were already pecking away. They
closed to 83-78 in the final minute of the third quarter and
kept coming even after a three-point play by Iverson made it
95-85 with 8:03 to go.
"We were lucky enough to have the resiliency to hang tough when
we let teams back into the game," O'Brien said. "We just did
not move our feet to keep in front of them, and as a result they
got a lot of easy baskets going to the foul line."