Iverson scores 37 points as 76ers retain home streak


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson didn't let an ankle injury
affect his shooting.

Iverson scored 37 points, including a go-ahead basket in the
final minute after coming back from a brief exit, to lead the
Philadelphia 76ers over the San Antonio Spurs 99-94 Thursday night.

"I was scared,'' Iverson said. "I came down on it the wrong
way and I knew an ankle isn't supposed to move that way. But I was
able to walk it off, get more tape on it and fortunately it didn't
bother me.''

The Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-0
at the First Union Center. San Antonio has lost three straight
after winning three in a row.

Keith Van Horn had 21 points and nine rebounds, Brian Skinner
added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Aaron McKie had 12 points and
nine boards for the Sixers.

Tim Duncan had 29 points and 16 rebounds and Stephen Jackson
added 15 points for the Spurs.

Iverson left after hurting his left ankle with 8:08 remaining.
He got his ankle taped, returned two minutes later and made a
driving layup and a 3-pointer to give the Sixers an 87-83 lead.

After David Robinson made a 10-foooter to tie it at 93, Iverson
banked a shot high off the glass for a 95-93 lead with 43 seconds
left. Skinner then blocked Duncan's shot on a driving attempt and
Iverson iced it with two free throws.

Iverson had 13 of Philadelphia's final 17 points. He had missed
eight of his last 10 shots before getting hurt, but made 4-of-5
after returning and finished 12-of-25.

"Nothing he does surprises me anymore,'' Van Horn said. "I've
seen it before playing against him. Now I see more of it.''

The Sixers were without starting forward Derrick Coleman, backup
center Samuel Dalembert and key reserve Monty Williams -- all out
since the start of the season with knee injuries.

The Spurs, who trailed by 19 early in the third quarter, took
their first lead since the middle of the first quarter on a
3-pointer by Tony Parker that made it 81-80 with 6:44 left.

San Antonio cut it to 64-62 following a 13-0 run in the third
quarter. The Sixers missed 12 of their first 15 shots in the third
and nine straight at one point while going scoreless for a stretch
of 6:04 before Skinner hit a short jumper. Emanuel Ginobili had six
of the Spurs' points during the run.

"We couldn't stop Allen,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"He made some difficult shots. Hats off to him. He played a great

The Sixers built a 48-31 lead with a 17-3 run in the second
quarter. Van Horn made a finger roll and hit a turnaround jumper
and free throw to make it 43-30. Iverson capped the run with a
16-foot jumper.

"We just have to hold down the forte until we get everybody
back healthy,'' Sixers coach Larry Brown said.

Skinner, signed as a free agent in August, played his best game
for the Sixers. He made 5-of-12 shots in 25 minutes off the bench
and played strong defense against Duncan and Robinson.

"I honestly believe there are 50 guys in the league like him
that have good character, maybe went to a team that had a lot of
depth at their position or played a different style and now they
are getting a chance to play,'' Brown said.

Game notes
Before the game, the Sixers honored Robinson, who played
his final regular-season game in Philadelphia. They gave him a
plaque then played a video tribute during the first timeout. Fans
gave Robinson, who has said this will be his final season, a nice
ovation. He finished 6 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes. "I
hope I don't remember the loss,'' Robinson said. "They've always
treated me well here.'' ... Spurs guard Steve Smith missed his
eighth straight game with a groin injury. ... The Sixers have won
two of the last three games against San Antonio after losing 17 of