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76ers hold Nets without basket for final 8:56

3/17/2003

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Moving within a half-game of first
place in the Atlantic Division made the Philadelphia 76ers greedy
for more.

"Our goal is to finish on top of the Eastern Conference and I
think we have a good shot,'' Aaron McKie said after the 76ers
rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the first-place Nets 92-87
Sunday.

The victory was the 14th in 16 games since the All-Star break
and put Philadelphia (39-26) right on the heels of the Nets (40-26)
and within two games of idle Detroit (41-24) in the race for the
conference's best mark.

Philadelphia plays the Pistons on the road Thursday.

"This is a big win for us,'' said Allen Iverson, who scored 31
points and hit the go-ahead layup with just over a minute to play.
"We knew we were climbing in our division and we understood this
was a big game. It may not have seemed like it in the first half,
but we approached it that way. We were just getting outhustled. In
the second half, we got everything together.''

Philadelphia was tenacious on defense in the final quarter,
holding the defending Eastern Conference champions without a basket
for the final 8:56 in handing them their eighth loss in 11 games.

Eric Snow added 21 points, including three free throws in the
final 15 seconds, to help Philadelphia beat the Nets for the second
time since Feb. 16.

"We think we are going to win the division. That's our goal,''
Snow said. "I'm sure they think the same way.''

Jason Kidd had 23 points to lead the Nets, who missed their
final 12 shots and had at least five turnovers in the final 8:56.

"They're close,'' Kidd said of the Sixers. "They're right
there with us now. We can't do anything about Philly. We've got to
take care of our own.''

Kidd and Lucious Harris both missed game-tying 3-point attempts
in the final 12 seconds.

"It's a little hard to believe,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said
of the Nets' shooting drought.

Kenyon Martin added 21 and Kerry Kittles had 19 for New Jersey.

Iverson's layup with 1:16 left gave the 76ers an 88-87 lead. It
would be the final field goal of the game.

Kidd threw up an airball on a 3-pointer on the Nets' next
possession, and Iverson had a jumper go in-and-out with just under
30 seconds to go.

Kidd, who was 9-for-26 from the field to go along with nine
assists, eight rebounds and 12 turnovers, missed on a drive and
Aaron McKie was fouled on the rebound.

McKie made one of two free throws to give Philadelphia an 89-87
lead with 20 seconds to go.

After the Nets called timeout, Harris threw an inbounds pass
toward the basket to Martin, whose jersey was being held by Derrick
Coleman.

"Tricks of the trade,'' Coleman said.

Snow made one of two free throws with 15 seconds to play to give
Philadelphia a 90-87 lead before Kidd and Harris failed to connect
on their game-tying attempts. Snow then added his final two free
throws.

Iverson scored nine straight points for the Sixers early in the
fourth quarter. The last two came on a fast-break layup after he
poked the ball away from Kidd and scored with 6:56 to go for a
82-81 lead. It was Philadelphia's first of the second half and only
its second of the game.

With the Nets ahead 65-52 after a fast-break layup by Richard
Jefferson, Iverson started looking for the ball more and he got it.
The All-Star guard hit two free throws to ignite an 18-7 spurt that
got the 76ers within 72-70 entering the final quarter.

Game notes
Former Net Keith Van Horn had foul problems in the last
game here and he picked up three in a 58-second span in the second
quarter. After the last one, Van Horn gave Kittles a playful shove.
He finished with 13 points. ... Philadelphia lost a 3-pointer by
McKie at the end of the first quarter on a videotape replay. ...
Snow extended his career-best streak of doubles figures in points
to 32. Iverson extended the league's current longest streak to 185.
...Kidd's 12 turnovers matched his season high.