Iguodala Beats Buzzer As 76ers Top Wolves
Philadelphia 86, Minnesota 84
MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 22 (Ticker) -- Andre Iguodala made an improbable shot to make sure Allen Iverson's impressive effort was not in vain.
Iguodala made a leaping 15-foot follow shot at the buzzer after Iverson scored 26 of his 39 points in the second half to give the Philadelphia 76ers an 86-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Iverson made a jumper to cut the deficit to 84-79 and Chris Webber split a pair of free throws. He missed the second, but Matt Barnes grabbed the rebound and Iverson fed Webber for a 3-pointer to make it 84-83 with 1:24 remaining.
"You could hear Allen on the bench keep saying, 'We're still there. We're still there,'" Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He gave a lot of guys a lot of hope. We kept fighting, and some good things happened for us."
Garnett was short on a 12-footer and Iverson got to the line and made 1-of-2 to tie the game with 48 seconds left.
Iguodala had a chance to put the Sixers ahead after Webber came up with a steal, but the athletic forward missed a dunk as he appeared to be fouled by Marko Jaric. Webber's second follow attempt appeared be ready to fall, but center Samuel Dalembert was called for offensive interference with 29 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, neither Garnett or Wally Szczerbiak, who finished with 18 points, got a look at the basket and Jaric missed an open 18-footer from the left side with 12 seconds to play.
"The play was to drop the ball to Kevin, but they overplayed, so we tried to play pick-and-roll," Jaric said. "I had a wide-open shot for the lead; I missed it. That's my fault right there, but there's nothing I can do about it now. Anytime I have an open shot like that, I'll take it."
On the final possession, Webber was short on a layup and Eddie Griffin, who came over to contest the shot, tipped the ball out near the foul line. Iguodala jumped, caught the ball and while fading away from the hoop to his right, launched a shot from the foul line that dropped through as the horn sounded.
"We had a play called for Allen, a screen at the top of the key, but he was doubled," Iguodala said. "C-Webb had a great drive and coach (Henry) Bibby had been getting on me about offensive rebounding and I just got the ball in my hands and tried to get it close to the basket."
"Man, that was good for (Iguodala), but it was even better for us as a team," Iverson said. "We fought back to get that win and we could've easily packed it up and went home."
After a tough first half, Iverson was 9-of-14 from the field in the final two quarters and added nine rebounds and five assists. Iguodala scored 14 points and Webber added 11 - seven in the final 3:17.
"We've been there, where we've been up 18 or 19 points," Cheeks said. "We've been there, where we've been up seven or eight points with two minutes to go in the game. So we've been in a lot of situations where we know the game could turn around. We had plays that turned the game around for us."
Garnett had 13 points and 14 rebounds but had only five points in the second half. He took just one shot in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves went to Trenton Hassell, who scored eight of his 14 points in the final period.
"It doesn't matter who gets the shots in the fourth," Szczerbiak said. "Trenton was making plays. We were milking him. He was killing them down there. As long as we get the job done as a team, there shouldn't be any agendas. You just go down the floor and play aggressively and try to get the best possible shot you can as a team."
Minnesota held a 42-31 halftime advantage and opened its largest lead at 65-46 on a 3-pointer by Eddie Griffin with 1:58 left in the third quarter.
Iverson scored 13 points over the next six minutes as Philadelphia closed to 71-70 before Hassell took charge.
"It really hurts," Szczerbiak said. That's a big lead and we can't let that happen, but we did, and we have to live with that. Hopefully we can learn from it and not let it happen again."