Iverson Hurt, Webber Leads 76ers Past Grizz
Philadelphia 94, Memphis 91
MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 12 (Ticker) -- With no Allen Iverson, Chris Webber stepped comfortably into the leadership role.
Webber scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out nine assists as the Philadelphia 76ers - without their superstar - pulled out a 94-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies to end a three-game losing streak.
It is the same ankle that Iverson sprained earlier this season, sidelining him for four games. He had to be helped to the locker room after tallying 18 points and six assists in the first half and left the arena in a protective walking boot.
"You know, whenever AI (Iverson) goes out, it's a big loss," Webber said. "Tonight I wanted to give everyone opportunities to make shots and to make a difference in this game."
Behind the all-around effort of Webber, the Sixers finally won a close game after falling by a combined eight points during their slide.
"It was a close game, and close games are tough," Webber said. "We've been on the losing end of these close games lately, so it was important to get a win like this."
"(Webber) played huge," Sixers forward Kyle Korver said. "He stepped up. That's what leaders do."
Webber found Andre Iguodala for a layup on a perfectly executed pick-and-roll for an 89-87 edge with 1:19 remaining.
Pau Gasol, who had 16 points, responded with a follow shot 19 seconds later to knot the score at 89-89, but Webber's jumper put the Sixers back in front with 48 ticks on the clock.
"They just stepped up and made the plays," Grizzlies guard Mike Miller said. "C-Webb really took it on his shoulders when they needed him to."
Webber rebounded a miss by Gasol and John Salmons split a pair of free throws to give Philadelphia a 92-89 lead with 22 seconds to go. Gasol dunked seven seconds later and Memphis fouled Korver, who also went 1-of-2 from the line for a 93-91 lead.
Webber smothered Gasol on the Grizzlies' final possession and forced a jump ball with 6.3 seconds left. Webber cleared the tip to Iguodala, who split a pair of shots from the line to seal the victory.
"We needed guys to make plays down the stretch," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We needed guys to pass the ball. (Webber) is our veteran leader, and that's why I was so reluctant to take him out in the second half."
The Sixers held a 50-44 lead at the break but stumbled without Iverson as the Grizzlies opened the third quarter with a 20-8 run.
Philadelphia evened the score early in the fourth quarter, and Salmons scored seven of his 12 points during a 14-6 run that erased an 83-77 deficit and gave the Sixers the lead for good.
"We had a lot of guys step up when (Iverson) went out," Cheeks said. "This was not a game of stats. This was about our guys going out there and just trying to play. Everyone had a part in winning this game."
"Philadelphia found a way to win the game when (Iverson) went out, and we found a way to lose it," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said.
Webber made 12-of-19 shots and committed only one turnover. Iguodala and Steven Hunter both scored 13 points for Philadelphia, which swept the season series, winning the two games by a combined four points.
Jake Tsakalidis tied a season high with 17 points and added 12 rebounds and Miller tacked on 16 points for the Grizzlies, who shot 46 percent (36-of-78).