Iverson Gives Cheeks Win Over Blazers
Philadelphia 107, Portland 83
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 29 (Ticker) -- A big first quarter from Kyle Korver and a typical final three from Allen Iverson gave Maurice Cheeks a measure of revenge against his former team.
Korver scored 12 of his 16 points in the opening period and Iverson added 34 of his 38 over the next three as the Philadelphia 76ers posted a 107-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
"We lost four out of the last five games and it didn't matter who it was," Cheeks said. "We had to win a basketball game; it just so happened it was Portland. It had nothing to do with the Trail Blazers."
"I think all he (Cheeks) was concerned with was having respect and a lot of love for them," Iverson said. "They gave him the opportunity to be a head coach. They trusted him and believed in him. I don't think that it was so personal to where he wanted to beat that team more than any other team that came in here."
Facing the Trail Blazers for the first time since the firing, Cheeks watched as Korver carried the Sixers for the first 12 minutes, making 5-of-7 shots while the rest of his teammates shot a dismal 14 percent (3-of-22).
"As a team, we weren't shooting the ball that great, so they were looking to me a little bit more," Korver said. "I was trying to knock down the shots that I got. That's what I like to do. That's fun for me. Whenever I get those kind of chances I want to take advantage of it."
John Salmons hit a jumper in the waning seconds of the period that gave Philadelphia a 23-20 lead and ignited a 17-5 run.
"John picked (up) the ball and scored," Iverson said. "We took a little bit of momentum into the second quarter. We pressured them a lot more and we got down the court for some easy baskets."
Iverson, who missed six of his first seven shots, opened the second quarter with a jumper and, after Portland rookie Jarrett Jack made 1-of-2 free throws, hit a pair from the line to make it 27-21 with 10:57 left.
Salmons and Chris Webber added two baskets apiece before Iverson capped the burst with a three-point play with 7:33 remaining to push the lead to 38-25.
The Blazers cut the deficit to 45-37 four minutes later on Sebastian Telfair's 3-pointer, but the Sixers closed the half with a 13-5 spurt. Andre Iguodala scored six points during the run, which was ended by another buzzer-beater from Salmons that put Philadelphia ahead, 58-42.
"We looked like a team that was tired," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We couldn't get to the ball. They were quicker than we were getting to the ball. It's tough to stay in a game when the other team is out-scrapping you like that."
Iverson helped preserve the lead, scoring 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting in the second half, when Philadelphia led by no fewer than 11.
"I was frustrated with myself because I was missing easy shots," Iverson said. "I made a conscious effort to go in there that much harder and concentrate more in making some shots. Once I got into a rhythm, they started to fall."
"You want to win these games and I wanted to win this game for him (Cheeks) by a large margin," Webber said. "I've been in those situations where you go back like I did. Losing in Sacramento last year for me wasn't fun. That's the same thing for anybody. You want to show them that we got the best end of the bargain."
Zach Randolph had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who fell to 2-4 on their seven-game road trip.
"They got a good push and they made a run on us," Randolph said. "They broke down our interior and got a lot of baskets in the paint. It's tough. We were just trying to get a win. They kept pushing and we just couldn't stop them."
Webber collected 16 points and 15 boards, helping Philadelphia to a 60-30 rebounding advantage.
"We had to gang-rebound," Webber said. "It just can't be just one guy getting 13 and 14 boards. It has to be team rebounding. That was the focal point and that's what we did."