76ers Rally Past Mavs As Dirk Hurts Back
Philadelphia 112, Dallas 97
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 9 (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia 76ers without Allen Iverson looked a lot better than the Dallas Mavericks without Dirk Nowitzki.
With their superstar cheering from the bench, the 76ers pulled away in the second half for a 112-97 victory over the Mavericks, who lost Nowitzki to a first-half back injury.
Andre Iguodala tied a career high with 22 points and Kyle Korver added a season-high 20 for the Sixers, who put together a 29-5 surge and finally won at the Wachovia Center as they began a four-game homestand.
Philadelphia had lost two preseason games and two regular-season games on its home floor, drawing boos in Friday's 17-point setback to Charlotte.
"We're just trying to get win right now," Korver said. "We came in here with a 1-3 record and we had to fight and scrap to get the win and that was huge."
It was not a good night for All-NBA selections. Iverson missed 11 of his first 13 shots and managed 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting. He added seven assists but also took a hard fall on his hip in the third quarter. Iverson took treatment after the game and did not address the media.
Nowitzki scored 14 points but pulled up lame late in the first half. He immediately walked gingerly off the court and did not return due to a strained lower back.
"It had been stiff the last two or three weeks," Nowitzki said. "When I made a move on the baseline, I twisted the wrong way and that's when the back locked up. It will be all right. I saw a doctor and a chiropractor and the back is beginning to loosen up. I'll get some treatment (Thursday) and hopefully be ready either Friday or Saturday."
"He should be OK. He's day to day," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "Him not being there is no excuse for tonight's loss."
The Mavericks also lost backup point guard Devin Harris to a sprained left ankle late in the third quarter, when the game got away from them under some backcourt pressure from the 76ers.
The decisive run was sparked by reserve forward Lee Nailon, who had a layup off a stolen inbounds pass and a tip-in as Philadelphia scored the last 10 points of the third period, taking the lead for good at 76-71.
"It was about our bench and the defensive pressure that they put on the floor, how they rebounded the ball and how they pushed the ball up the floor," Cheeks said. "Our bench was a factor in the Indiana game (Saturday) and they were a major factor in winning the game tonight."
"They came out and gave us a lift when we were dead," Korver said. "One of the biggest question marks in the beginning of the season was the bench, but they've proven that they can play."
Iverson opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play but sat down shortly thereafter, just as Johnson tried to counter with fleet veteran Darrell Armstrong. With Iverson on the bench, the Sixers scored 16 of the next 21 points to build the lead to 95-76 with 6:22 to play as reserve John Salmons scored five points in the spurt.
"I just wanted to get (Iverson) some rest early," Cheeks explained. "I took him out of the game and we got on a little run and we started going. ... Again, it was our bench. I took him out to get him some rest and as I did, our game picked up."
Without Nowitzki on the floor, the Mavericks were easier to defend and got no closer than nine points thereafter.
"I know that we didn't play our best basketball, but we played well enough to win the game," Armstrong said. "Once we got down by six, it was tough to overcome especially when they did it in span of two or three minutes."
Chris Webber had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who shot 52 percent (43-of-83). They have won two in a row after dropping their first three games.
Former Sixer Keith Van Horn had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Dallas, which had won of its last five visits here. Van Horn started the second half in place of Nowitzki.
"When they turned up the pressure, we didn't handle it very well," Van Horn said. "We rushed things and we got out of sync and it really hurt us. We didn't come down and run our offense. We let the pressure bother us."
Despite Nowitzki's injury, Dallas held a 52-46 halftime lead. Korver's hot outside shooting in the third quarter kept Philadelphia within striking distance.