Jackson Sparks Pacers Win Over 76ers
Indiana 92, Philadelphia 79
INDIANAPOLIS, March 26 (Ticker) -- If Allen Iverson and Chris Webber do not receive more support, the Philadelphia 76ers soon might find themselves out of the playoff chase.
Iverson and Webber combined to score 50 points but had little help from their teammates in a 92-79 setback to the Indiana Pacers, their ninth defeat in 11 games.
Rookie Danny Granger chipped in 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Pacers, who have won back-to-back meetings with the defenseless 76ers after losing the previous five.
"That certainly was an important game for us, for a lot of reasons," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "We were sloppy at times offensively. The effort was really there and it was great to see. We've got some cobwebs to get out."
Iverson scored 26 points and Webber 24 for the Sixers (32-37), who entered the day 2 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
"I don't want to hear about Allen and Chris had X amount of points. We have to defend," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We've been talking about (them) scoring all year, and we still never defend."
The duo combined for 17 points in the first quarter to help the Sixers take a 25-23 edge after 12 minutes. But their teammates mustered a total of seven points over the middle two periods as the Pacers opened a 76-57 advantage.
"There's no way to explain it," Iverson said. "We got beat up. When we don't stop anybody on the defensive end, then it's hard to get a running game going and get easy baskets. When you get outrebounded (48-36), it just makes it worse."
Jackson made 5-of-7 shots in the third quarter, when he personally outscored Philadelphia, 13-12. The Pacers made half their 20 attempts from the field in the period while the Sixers went just 5-of-19 (26 percent).
"It's (team chemistry) coming back," Jackson said. "We're still a little rusty. We had (29) turnovers tonight. We're getting to know everybody so that we're ready for the playoffs. Every game counts and that's the way we look at it."
"I think overall we played pretty good," said Pacers big man Jermaine O'Neal, who made his first start in his third game back from a two-month absence due to a torn left groin. "We're still trying to get a feel for each other. That process is just going to have to work itself through."
Overall, Indiana connected on 51 percent (34-of-67) and limited Philadelphia to 37 percent (32-of-86).
"The problem is not offense at all," Iverson said. "It hasn't been all season. We can't stop anybody, man."