Iverson Scores 42 as Sixers Sweep Raptors
Philadelphia 121, Toronto 115
TORONTO, Nov. 14 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson's 60th career 40-point game had a familiar ending for both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.
Iverson scored a season-high 42 points as the 76ers withstood a second-half surge and held on for their sixth straight victory, a 121-115 triumph over the winless Raptors.
A four-time scoring champion, Iverson had yet to explode this season as he has tried to work with fellow superstar Chris Webber in coach Maurice Cheeks' offense. But he broke out Wednesday, making 16-of-26 shots and 9-of-11 free throws.
"The most important thing about scoring 40 points is that it really helped the team a lot," Iverson said. "It wouldn't matter if we didn't win. We knew they were hungry and desperate for a win. They were able to come back and tie it up after we went up big on them. The fact that we still won the game says a lot about us."
Iverson scored 19 points and Iguodala made three 3-pointers in a scorching first quarter that looked like a replay of Philadelphia's 104-92 home win over Toronto on Tuesday. Iverson's jumper gave the Sixers a 37-17 lead late in the period.
But unlike Tuesday, when the Raptors rolled over, they fought back, forging a 74-74 tie midway through the third quarter on a 3-pointer by rookie Charlie Villanueva, who had his third straight solid game with 13 points.
"We knew their run was coming," Webber said. "For me, this is the toughest game we've won. To beat a team back-to-back when they are winless, that is tough to do and doing it on the road is even tougher."
The Sixers quickly regained the lead and took a 90-82 advantageinto the final period. They barely held on behind Iverson and Iguodala, who scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.
"Tonight I just felt good," said Iguodala, who made 6-of-8 3-pointers. "We really moved the ball and it opened everything up."
Philadelphia has won 24 of the last 26 games in which Iverson has scored 40 or more points and is 42-18 all-time.
Mike James scored 38 points - establishing a career high for the second time in three games - for the Raptors, who fell to a league-worst 0-8.
"We just have to continue believing in ourselves," James said. "We have to find a way to stop the bleeding. Again, the first quarter of the game killed us. To come back from a deficit that big is hard."
Swingman Jalen Rose had foul trouble and was held scoreless for the first time since February 20, 1998 with Indiana at Orlando.
"I never got a chance to play myself into the game," Rose said diplomatically. "I had two offensive fouls at the beginning of the game and the same thing happened in the second half. The guys were competing and I would have loved the opportunity to be out there playing with the guys."
A 3-pointer and layup by James, who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, pulled Toronto within 101-99 with 5:26 to go, but Iguodala answered with a foul-line jumper.
Iguodala's 3-pointer and Iverson's pull-up jumper gave Philadelphia a 112-105 lead with 2:48 to play. A driving layup by James cut the deficit to 115-113 with 55 seconds left, but his potential tying layup rattled out and Iguodala sealed it with two free throws.
Webber had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Sixers, who shot 54 percent (43-of-79), including 9-of-16 from the arc.
"We believe in each other," Webber said. "We can be as good as we believe we can be."
Chris Bosh had 23 points and 10 boards for the Raptors, who also shot 54 percent (45-of-83) and had six players in double figures.
Iverson recorded his 17,000th career point and 800th career three-pointer in the first quarter.
"I couldn't have done this without my teammates," Iverson said. "They are the ones that set the screens for me and get me the ball and that is all the teammates I've had in 10 years. It's kind of a tribute to those guys and coaches I've had that believed in me."