PHILADELPHIA, April 29 (Ticker)
By making a ton of shots, Allen Iverson
and the Philadelphia 76ers still have a shot.
Iverson had 37 points and 15 assists while leading an
unstoppable outside assault in the fourth quarter as the 76ers
climbed back into their Eastern Conference first-round series
with a 115-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
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On their home court, the seventh-seeded Sixers turned the tables
on the second-seeded Pistons, who had won the first two games
by a combined 36 points but looked nothing like the defending
NBA champions in Game Three.
"We got it done. We came out and we fought," Iverson said.
"That's a great basketball team. They shot 50 percent for the
game, so that tells you how tough it was to beat them. If you
stop a team that's shooting 50 percent, and win the basketball
game, that says a lot about your offense."
Iverson made just 16-of-46 shots in the losses but bounced back
by draining 15-of-26 - many of them jump shots - while
controlling the tempo. He had plenty of help as Philadelphia
shot a blistering 55 percent (43-of-78), including 11-of-20 from
three-point range, and committed just seven turnovers.
"You almost need every positive thing that we did just to beat
them," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien
said. "The fact that we shot
the ball so well from the (arc) and kept our turnovers down,
you're not going to lose many times if you do that. I was very
pleased with the way our guys closed out the game."
After averaging 84.5 points in Detroit, Philadelphia had 80
points - and a two-point lead - after three quarters. Facing
the NBA's toughest defense, the Sixers scored 35 points in the
final period, with 10 of their 11 baskets coming on
scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter,
sinking four long jumpers. Samuel Dalembert
scored 14 points,
including a clutch jumper that made it 103-95 with 3:37 to go.
Iverson provided the clincher with a three-pointer for a 109-100
advantage with 1:33 to play. He became the fourth player in NBA
history to collect at least 35 points and 15 assists in a
"All the X's and O's, that's the hardest part," Iverson said.
"The effort is the easiest part, and that's what we did tonight.
We gave effort. We just left everything on the floor, and
scored 15 points for Philadelphia, which held a
23-2 edge in bench points after Detroit's reserves dominated the
first two games.
"The first two games, we didn't have good bench play," said
Rogers, who did not play in Game Two. "Not to take anything
away from Detroit, but when our bench plays well and our
starters play well, most of the time we win the game."
"It was big for the guys, especially the ones who have never
been to the playoffs before," Webber said. "It was good to see
the other team is vulnerable. It shows me our fight and
The Pistons wasted perhaps the best game Ben Wallace
has had in his nine-year career. The defensive stalwart scored a career-high 29
points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but it was not enough to offset
"I would give it all up for a win," Wallace said. "We are not
going to hang our heads. We did some good things. We got what
we wanted on the offensive end. We forced them to take tough
shots. Unfortunately, they made them. We are not going to hang
our heads; we're going to continue to fight."
Game Four is back here Sunday. Detroit lost consecutive playoff
games just once en route to the 2004 title, dropping the middle
three games of the conference semifinals.
"I though they played great," Pistons coach Larry Brown
"If I'm Jimmy O'Brien and in that locker room, I'm pretty proud
of my team. I could give a hug to a lot of guys."
"This is one game. We have to feed off of this," Iverson said.
"We have to have some type of momentum. We can't go into the
next game feeling that we just have to step on the court. Come
Sunday, we have to play basketball for 48 minutes. They are
still the defending world champions; we know it, everybody else
knows it. We have to go out and play hard."
The Sixers trailed by 13 points early in the second quarter but
fought back within 54-51 at halftime. They began to find the
range late in the third quarter, when a jumper and two
3-pointers by Rogers gave them an 80-76 lead.
"I was really pumped up because it was at the key part of the
game," Rogers said. "They had left me wide open. I missed a
couple early, but I had to keep shooting. I was able to make a
couple of shots and help get the spark going."
The Pistons pulled within a point three times in the fourth
quarter, the last time at 89-88 with 7:51 left on two free
throws by Richard Hamilton
, who had 24 points and 12 assists.
"When it was time and the game was on the line, they hit shots
and we didn't get the stops we needed to get," Hamilton said.
"They got too many veteran players on that team to quit and we
knew that they were going to play with a lot of energy like they
After a basket by Dalembert - Philadelphia's only inside hoop of
the period - Webber found the range, making a three-pointer and
three long jumpers over the next four minutes to make it 105-96
with 3:08 to go.
scored 19 points and Chauncey Billups
added 15 each for Detroit, which shot 51 percent