PHILADELPHIA, April 14 (Ticker) --
The indefatigable Allen Iverson
too much energy for Shaquille O'Neal
and the Miami Heat.
Iverson had 38 points, 16 assists and a hand in virtually every
key play as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied for a 126-119
overtime victory over the slumping Heat.
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The 76ers (40-38) overcame the return of O'Neal and a
career-high 48 points by Dwyane Wade
to again catch Cleveland
for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia holds
"Our squad knows that it's a do-or-die situation. It's like our
backs are against the wall right now," said Iverson, who made
11-of-24 shots. "We approached the game the right way and these
are the results. This was a good win for us and hopefully we
can feed off it."
Playing all 53 minutes, Iverson simply was phenomenal. In
addition to his customary offensive explosion, he worked the
pick-and-roll to perfection with Marc Jackson
, who took
advantage of an obviously fatigued O'Neal for a season-high 26
"It was just a pick-your-poison type of thing," Iverson said.
"Any big man steps out, I'm going to try to beat him. If they
sit back and try to zone up and trap me, you've got to make the
pass to that guy. Marc just hit his shots. That's just playing
the game the way it's supposed to be played. When a man is
open, give him the ball, and let him use the talent that got him
But Iverson's biggest play came on defense. After the Sixers
opened a 110-106 lead early in overtime and the Heat called
timeout, Iverson stole the ensuing inbounds pass and found Kyle Korver
for a 3-pointer.
"I like to call it a 'veteran move,'" Iverson said. "It was
just something I learned by playing the game. I can't give it
out because it might have been a little illegal, but I got away
"The steal was huge. There was no reason for it," Heat coach
Stan Van Gundy
said. "We're supposed to have both guards in the
backcourt, but Dwyane wasn't there. The thing is, you get the
ball in every other possession in the game and you assume that's
going to happen and that's not good enough."
Korver, who made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points, added a
free throw after a technical foul on Damon Jones
for a 114-106
lead with 2:58 remaining.
"When you're putting you best effort out there and circumstances
and other things get in your way, you're going to have
incidents like that where emotions get out of hand," Jones said.
"It was a hard-fought game. We had our chances to win, we
just couldn't get the stops."
Returning from a three-game absence due to a stomach virus,
O'Neal was laboring in overtime. That left Miami's offense to
Wade, whose layup made it 114-111 with 2:05 to play.
Off a pick-and-roll, Iverson beat O'Neal for a layup. Wade
answered with a jumper, and the Heat had a chance to get closer
when O'Neal was fouled with 58 seconds left. But he missed
badly on both free throws and was lost on another pick-and-roll
as a jumper by Jackson made it 118-113 with 40 seconds to go.=20
Philadelphia sealed the win at the line, where it made its last
27 attempts and 33-of-34. Iverson was 13-of-13 and Jackson
Wade made 18-of-33 shots and added 10 rebounds and six assists.
But he did not get much help from O'Neal, who had 13 points and
12 boards but sank just 3-of-11 free throws and committed nine
"Dwyane was great, but we turned the ball over too much," Van
Gundy said. "We don't have a great margin for error because
we're the worst free-throw shooting team in the league."
Rookie Andre Iguodala
had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Webber
added 15 and 10 for the Sixers, who scored a season high
and split the four-game series with the Heat - whom they could
face in the first round of the playoffs.
"Whoever we play, we play," Wade said. "If it's Cleveland, New
Jersey or Philly, they're all good teams. Once you hit the
playoffs, you can throw all the records out the window. It's two
teams going mano a mano. We look forward to it no matter who
Jones scored 18 points and Udonis Haslem
added 17 for the Heat
(56-22), who have lost three in a row for the first time this
season and six of 10. Miami fell to 46-3 when leading after
In the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter, there were
eight lead changes and seven ties. The first came at 87-87 on a
3-pointer by Iverson with 7:47 remaining. The last came at
104-104 on two free throws by Iverson with 11 seconds to go.
Wade scored 15 of Miami's 23 fourth-quarter points, including a
wing jumper that gave the Heat a 104-102 lead with 18 seconds
left. But he was hounded by Iguodala and missed a 20-footer at
"I knew that it was coming," Igoudala said. "My main thing
against him was to stay down and stay in front. I just got a
small piece of the ball on the way up and it effected the shot."
"I hit some good shots but I didn't hit the one I should have
hit at the end of regulation," Wade said. "It always tough to
lose no matter if you play good or play bad. I don't look at
anything positive because we lost."
The Sixers improved to 4-3 in overtime, while the Heat fell to