NEW YORK, March 31 (Ticker) --
Stars Allen Iverson
and Chris Webber
up with a huge performance just when the Philadelphia 76ers
Iverson scored 47 points and Webber added a season-high 34 as
the 76ers ended a three-game slide with a 117-112 triumph over
the New York Knicks, who have lost seven straight.
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With just two wins in its previous 12 contests, Philadelphia
(33-38) maintained its 1 1/2-game advantage over Chicago (32-40)
for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference
and within two games of idle Indiana (35-36) for seventh.
"Honestly, we know we're fighting for playoff position," Iverson
said. "I just don't want to settle for the eighth spot. I
feel like if we play these games out and win most of them then
we can get up to the seventh or maybe even the sixth spot. But
I think getting the seventh spot is reachable and that's what
we're trying to do."
Playing a season-high 43 minutes because of injuries to Stephon Marbury
and Steve Francis
, rookie Nate Robinson
season-best 34 points, including seven during a 16-4
second-quarter charge that gave the Knicks their biggest lead at
58-46 with 2:03 left in the half.
"I was proud of our team tonight," New York coach Larry Brown
said. "We didn't have Stephon (Marbury), Steve Francis, Quentin Richardson
or Channing Frye
and that's pretty tough. We
competed at a high level with a very limited group."
"I am going to go at him (Iverson)," Robinson said. "I am going
to make him play defense. That is what I tried to do tonight."
Philadelphia trimmed its deficit to 60-53 at the break, but
during his halftime speech, coach Maurice Cheeks
his team picked it up defensively after letting the Knicks shoot
59 percent (23-of-39) from the floor.
"I said, 'Let's will it, let's get this one,'" Cheeks said. "We
had to go get it and that's exactly what we did. I thought the
second half was the reason why we won the game because it was
just a will that helped us win a game."
The Sixers rallied in the final 10 minutes of the third quarter,
outscoring the Knicks, 27-14, during the stretch. Iverson, who
scored 30 points after halftime, netted 11 during the burst.
"It didn't seem like we wanted it," Iverson said. "It seemed
like they were playing to try to get into the playoffs and we
were a team just out there playing. We came back in the second
half, had a sense of urgency and got back into the game."
Iverson's 3-pointer with 2:23 left in the period gave
Philadelphia a 77-75 lead, an advantage it never relinquished.
After missing his first four shots, Iverson finished 13-of-29
from the floor and 18-of-20 from the free-throw line as the
NBA's second-leading scorer reached the 30-point plateau for the
first time since March 9.
Webber chipped in 13 points in the final period for the Sixers,
who shot 56 percent (40-of-72), including 10-of-17 in the fourth
"I think Allen and Chris did a good job of just putting the ball
in the hole," Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala
did a good job of putting the ball in the hole and Chris was
tremendous at getting open looks."
"Down in the stretch of the game when we needed points, that's
what they did," Cheeks said. "That's what they have to do."
Webber, who scored 18 points in the first half, made 14-of-23
shots and pulled down 12 rebounds for his third double-double in
"It makes it that much more easier for me, especially when he
gets that attention on the post and people double him," Iverson
said of Webber. "When guys are doubling, trying to get the ball
out of my hand, all I do is make one little pass at the free
throw line and he's knocking them down, it's tough to stop.