PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 (AP) --
On a night when Dikembe Mutombo
looked great but Allen Iverson
struggled, nothing they did made much of a difference in the end -- because of Ray Allen
Allen, who ruined an impressive home debut by Mutombo, scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Bucks over the Philadelphia 76ers 98-91 Monday night in a matchup of Eastern Conference division leaders.
"I've shot the ball well over the past couple weeks, but I don't think I've shot it this well in a long time -- if ever," Allen said.
Making 12 of his final 13 shots, Allen put on a jump shooting display and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter despite a nose that was broken in a first-quarter collision with Mutombo's elbow.
Mutombo had 21 points and 16 rebounds in his third game with the Sixers, who trailed by as many as 17 but tied the game twice in the fourth quarter before Allen finished them off.
The Bucks ended a slide of six straight losses against the Sixers.
"It was an incredible fourth quarter by Ray. It looked like he wasn't even hitting the rim," coach George Karl said. "We've blown some big leads against Philly, so this was a big win for us. We have a tendency to freeze up sometimes when we have big leads, but we played through it."
Glenn Robinson added 19 points and Sam Cassell had 17 for the Bucks, who won their fifth in a row and sent the Sixers to their second straight defeat.
Until Allen started hitting from all angles, the thing that made this game interesting was the way Mutombo helped the Sixers to hang close despite a poor shooting night for Iverson.
Iverson finished with 26 points but missed 14 of his first 16 shots. He was able to match Allen shot-for-shot for part of the fourth quarter, but Allen kept it up longer, and a three-pointer by Allen with 4:47 left gave the Bucks the lead for good.
Allen scored 17 of the Bucks final 23 points and finished 17-of-23 from the field with six three-pointers, nine rebounds and seven assists.
"This was a big step in the right direction for us," Allen said.
Iverson finished 8-for-27 from the field while Mutombo, who received a warm ovation from the crowd of 20,324, finished one point shy of his season-high. Seven of his 16 rebounds came on the offensive end.
"As the game went by I felt very comfortable," Mutombo said. "The only thing that bothered me was it was the first game of a five-game homestand and we didn't do it for them."
The Bucks opened an early 17-point lead as Iverson couldn't find his range. Iverson shot 1-for-10 in the first quarter and 2-for-13 in the half, but Mutombo grabbed five offensive rebounds and Tyrone Hill had 14 points to help keep the Sixers within seven points at halftime.
Iverson's slump reached 2-for-16 before he hit a three-pointer midway through the third to start a 13-2 run that gave the Sixers a 59-56 lead. Iverson had a pair of three-pointers and a fast-break dunk in the run, but Allen scored seven straight points for Milwaukee late in the quarter as part of an 11-1 run to give the Bucks a 67-60 lead entering the fourth.
The Sixers tied it at 71 only to have Allen answer with a jumper, then tied it again at 80-80 on a three-pointer by Iverson with 5:08 left before Allen answered once more, time with consecutive threes -- the second of which started a 7-0 run that gave Milwaukee a 90-82 lead with 3:09 left.
"I'm not discouraged," Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "When you can overcome a poor shooting night like Allen (Iverson) had and still have a chance to win against a team that shot the ball great -- and with a player that had a phenomenal game -- I don't think it's time to be discouraged."
Notes: Sixers forward Matt Geiger dived out of bounds for a loose ball near the Sixers' bench during the second quarter and landed on Mutombo. ... Forward Roshown McLeod, acquired from Atlanta along with Mutombo, will remain sidelined indefinitely with a calf injury. ... Bucks forward Darvin Ham, out since November after foot surgery, could return by the weekend. ... The Sixers had their four-game home winning streak snapped. ... The Bucks improved to 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better.