EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson and his teammates answered the call in an important game.

Iverson had 40 points and 10 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers coasted to a 116-96 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

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Chris Webber returned after missing the last two contests with a back strain to add 18 points and 11 rebounds for Philadelphia (37-41), which remained tied with Chicago for the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth with four games left.

Nicknamed "The Answer," Iverson carried his team to a big lead. The superstar scored 17 of his 22 first-half points in the second quarter as the Sixers opened a commanding 67-46 lead at the break.

"That's what it is all about, coming in and playing a game like it is your last," Iverson said. "That's what we did. We fought on the defensive end, we fought trying to get rebounds, and we let the offense take care of itself."

In reaching 40 points for the second time this season against the Nets and 15th time overall, Iverson made 13-of-26 shots and 14-of-15 free throws before going to the bench with just over eight minutes remaining. He has averaged 39.3 points in three games against the Nets this season.

Andre Iguodala added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who never were threatened in the second half and held a 90-73 advantage after three quarters. They led by as many as 30 points in the final period.

"The game was much more important for us than it was for them," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We got out early and defended. They got some transition baskets, but for the most part, our defense was good."

Vince Carter scored 21 points and Nenad Krstic 18 and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who have lost three of four since a franchise record-tying 14-game winning streak.

"We'll try to forget about it," said Nets point guard Jason Kidd, who scored nine points in 26 minutes. "This is no surprise of who needed the game. We didn't come with any excitement in the first half tonight. When you give up 67 points (in a half), you are not going to beat anybody."

New Jersey (47-31), which already has locked up the Atlantic Division title and third seed in the Eastern Conference, was playing for the fourth time in five nights.

"We are not proud of what happened," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "I think when you look at it, we had four games in five nights, and at this point of the year, we knew it was going to be tough."