"It feels good to be on this side of a big game, of a big
win," Korver said.
It nearly came at a price.
Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, crashed hard on a drive to
the basket in the third quarter and was down for a couple minutes
but stayed in the game. X-rays on his left shoulder were negative.
Korver, who is second in the league in 3-pointers made, hit four
in the third quarter then another early in the fourth after the
Hawks pulled within single digits.
Korver went 5-of-8 from 3-point range -- 6-of-10 overall -- and
his squealing fans let him know how much they appreciated it. Kids
12 and under received a replica of Korver's jersey and made it
sound like a boy-band concert each time he touched the ball.
Plus, fans who donated coats before the game as part of "Kyle's
Coats for Kids," were allowed to meet the popular mop-topped
forward. About 3,000 fans were waiting for him after the game.
"I think that exceeds our expectations a little bit," Korver
said. "I was just saying thanks to everybody who helped out in
The thunderous ovations, though, were saved for teammate Andre
The rookie brought some excitement to an otherwise mundane game
with three fantastic dunks. In the fourth quarter, Iverson lobbed a
high pass on the left side that Iguodala snagged with his right
hand and came down hard with a dunk.
On the next possession, Iguodala grabbed a loose ball and fed it
to Iverson. He then raced down court unguarded, took a quick feed
and made a rim-rattling dunk for an 89-73 lead.
"Andre got a couple of dunks that got us going, I got some
looks and A.I. was looking for me on the break," Korver said.
Iguodala finished with 14 points. Iguodala plays against Korver
on All-Star weekend in the Rookie Challenge, but would like to have
a more prominent role that weekend in the dunk contest.
"I would love to do it," Iguodala said. "It'd be an honor to
get in there. A lot of guys made their career off dunk contests."
Philadelphia played without coach Jim O'Brien, who missed the
game because of the flu. Associate head coach Lester Conner took
"It didn't feel any different from when coach O'Brien gets
thrown out," said Conner, who was also with O'Brien in Boston.
Korver's 3s in the third quarter propelled a 16-4 run and pushed
the Sixers' lead to double digits. His third one came from the top
of the key and left Iverson smiling as he backpedaled on defense.
While Iverson, named an All-Star starter on Thursday, has never
really found a comfortable fit with another second scorer, he has
embraced Korver. The two shared smiles and laughed over a few words
on the court.
Iverson passed to Korver one last time in the third looking for
another 3, but Korver paused and waited for Iguodala to come racing
in and complete an alley-oop that the Hawks never saw coming.
"He's always looking for me," Korver said. "For being a
scoring point guard, he sure gets a lot of assists."
Atlanta made it 76-71 early in the fourth when Korver hit
another 3 and the Sixers started rolling from there.
"It's been that way all year," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.
"Kyle Korver hits big shots and we never recovered."
Hawks G Tyronn Lue left in the third quarter with a
strained Achilles' tendon. ... Walker was a high school basketball
teammate of Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. They played
together at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. Walker said he was
pulling for McNabb to win the Super Bowl. ... The Sixers collected
1,446 coats as part of Korver's collection. ... More than 20,000
fans attended "Wing Bowl" earlier in the day at the arena. El
Wingador devoured 162 chicken wings in 32 minutes to win his fifth
title, beating out The Black Widow in overtime by one wing.