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McKie picks up the load for 76ers

12/18/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The 76ers need Allen Iverson in the lineup. But Aaron McKie softened his absence, at least for a game.

McKie scored 20 points and Glenn Robinson had 19 in the 76ers'
87-76 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Iverson, averaging 28.9 points, who has missed three of the last
four games with a swollen right knee. The injury that could keep
him sidelined even longer.

"It's 30 points out of your lineup. It's somebody who's great
in transition and can get to the line," McKie said. "We pretty
much have to do it collectively. I think we did a pretty good job
of that."

McKie, who entered second in the NBA in 3-point accuracy, led
the way with three straight 3-pointers early in the third to help
turn a six-point halftime deficit into a one-point lead. He
finished 7-for-12 from the floor, including 4-for-5 from 3-point
range, and added six assists.

McKie, the 2000-01 Sixth Man of the Year, said his approach
remains the same whether he starts or plays a reserve role.

"I just continue to play within the team concept, depending on
the time of the game and what coach needs from me," said McKie,
making his 10th start this season. "We'll make the adjustment
then."

The Sixers' reserves picked up the scoring slack the rest of the
way. They'll have to keep doing that if Philadelphia (13-12) wants
to keep their Atlantic Division lead while Iverson and center Marc
Jackson (finger) are out.

Philadelphia got seven straight points early in the fourth
quarter from Kyle Korver, the rookie long-range shooter out of Creighton. Korver, with his shaggy top and resemblance to actor
Ashton Kutcher, draws a crowd reaction when he has the ball.

"I don't think I deserve any of that yet. I haven't really done
anything," Korver said. "I hit three shots tonight. Big deal. I'm
not going to say don't do it. It's fun."

Korver said he's getting used to the comparison to the
"Punk'd" star.

"Everyday, five times a day. I'm not dating anybody like Demi
Moore," he said with a smile.

Korver's 3-pointer three minutes into the fourth gave the Sixers a
nine-point lead, and they never let Miami get close the rest of the
quarter. They would lead by as many as 13, using a lineup of
reserves Korver, Samuel Dalembert and John Salmons and starters
McKie and Kenny Thomas. Thomas had 17 points.

"I thought Korver and McKie hit some big shots that gave us
some confidence," Sixers coach Randy Ayers said. "It got the
crowd into the game and we were able to sustain that the rest of
the game."

Robinson went 8-for-14 from the floor as the Sixers shot a
season-high 56 percent.

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and Eddie Jones added 20 for the
Heat, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Heat, who
started 0-7, had the longest winning streak in the Eastern
Conference, but their momentum stalled on the road where they are
only 2-12.

"Our defense was decent, but they showed a lot of patience and
maturity," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We'd play good
defense for about 20 seconds, but they kept passing and passing and
finding open guys."

McKie added his fourth 3-pointer with less than a minute left
for an 85-74 lead, and Derrick Coleman finished the Sixers' scoring
with a thunderous, scowling dunk.

The Heat, who raced to a 14-4 lead, matched that 10-point lead
early in the third after Jones' 3-pointer. Jones scored 13 of
Miami's 16 points in the third quarter on 4-for-8 shooting.

But Coleman and Robinson each made a couple of jumpers that
started a 21-9 run for a 61-58 lead. Lamar Odom, who scored 17
points, tied it with a 3 to open the fourth quarter, but a basket
by Eric Snow put the Sixers ahead for good.

Game Notes: The Sixers are 3-0 against Miami this season. ... The
Sixers are 6-12 when they trail at halftime. ... Philadelphia is
25-35 without Iverson in his eight-year career. ... The Sixers
snapped a two-game losing streak.