Ailing Iverson comes off bench for 43 points


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson didn't pout after being
punished for arriving late to the morning shootaround. He simply
went out and made life miserable for the New Jersey Nets.

Iverson, who did not start, also shook off a leg injury to score 43 points and lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 110-102 victory over New Jersey on Friday night.

"It's different. I'm not used to it," Iverson said of beginning the game on the bench. "You break a rule and you have to pay for it and I accept that. I guess I was fighting for the sixth man award."

Derrick Coleman added 20 points, Matt Harpring had 14 and Eric
Snow had a season-high 13 assists for the Sixers, who shot a
season-best 60.6 percent from the field.

Kerry Kittles scored 16 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to pace the Eastern Conference-leading Nets.

Iverson, who sustained a left quadricepts contusion Wednesday against Miami, entered the game with 6:46 left in the first quarter.

The Sixers, the defending Eastern Conference champions, made 17
of their first 20 shots to take a 39-14 lead 2:37 into the second
period. Iverson had 21 first-half points in just 19 minutes.

"We got off to a real good start," said Sixers assistant coach Randy Ayers, who took over after head coach Larry Brown was ejected with 4:38 left in the first half after picking up two technical fouls.

"We were concerned about them getting quick shots and there's always that problem with (Jason) Kidd out there."

The Nets weren't able to generate much offense and came out flat
for the second straight game. They lost to 104-85 to Charlotte on
Wednesday night.

"Obviously, we're not coming out ready to play, physically or mentally," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "They shot 74 percent in the first half and that's basically unheard of. I have questions and I don't know what's going on. It's very disturbing."

The Nets got the deficit under double digits for the first time in the second half on Kittles' 3-pointer with 3:10 left that made it 98-91.

Kittles scored and was fouled with 2:52 remaining and could have
cut the Sixers' lead to six points, but he missed the free throw.

Coleman scored on a slam dunk off Iverson's pass on the ensuing possession to make it 102-93 with 2:36 left.

Kidd followed with a turnover, and Harpring hit a 16-footer to give the Sixers a 104-93 cushion with 1:59 remaining.

Game notes
It was Brown's first ejection this season. ... Sixers guard
Vonteego Cummings did not play due to a stomach virus. ... Raja Bell replaced Iverson in the starting lineup. ... Dikembe Mutombo and Harpring are the only Sixers to start every game this season.