PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson's biggest assist to Chris
Webber didn't come on a no-look pass. It came in words of
encouragement to Philly's slumping newcomer.
"Just get your swagger back," Webber said Iverson told him.
"That's really what I did. It helped me out."
Webber had his best performance in his four games with
Philadelphia, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, and
Iverson added 31 points to lead the 76ers to a 98-89 win over the
Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Samuel Dalembert had 15 points for the Sixers, who won for the
second time in four games with Webber in the lineup.
Webber looked a little more like the All-Star the 76ers hoped
they were getting in their blockbuster trade. While Philadelphia
remained 2½ games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division, Webber
gave a glimpse of what he could contribute down the stretch.
"I think every little bit helps your confidence," Webber said.
"One day you're averaging a number that many people don't do in
three categories and the next day you're worthless. And that's from
myself, I don't even care what everyone else is saying."
Iverson, who had nine assists, knew Webber was trying too hard
to meet monstrous expectations.
"I just know how tough it is on him," Iverson said. "He wants
to play well so bad. He wants to fit in with the team. A lot of
times when you're thinking about something like that instead of
just playing basketball, you struggle."
Cleveland's five-game losing streak is its longest of the
season. After leading the Central Division for much of the first
half, the Cavaliers are sliding back in the Eastern Conference
The Cavaliers also dropped their seventh straight road game,
losing their composure in the fourth quarter and allowing the
Sixers to coast in the last few minutes. The Cavaliers had a
season-high 27 turnovers that led to 27 Philadelphia points.
James wasn't too worried about the slump.
"We lost nine games in a row last year and got out of it," he
said. "We're not hanging our heads low. I've been through this
before and it's only my second season."
James lost his cool after he thought he was fouled on a layup
that pulled the Cavs to 83-80. He argued over the non-call and was
hit with a technical foul.
The Sixers pulled away from there. Kyle Korver hit the free
throw, and Webber hit long jumpers before and after a basket by
Dalembert to give the 76ers a 10-point lead.
After making his second jumper, Webber whirled around, smiled
and pumped his fist. While his shooting percentage wasn't great --
11-for-28 -- Webber made a few nifty plays that showed why the
Sixers thought they made a steal of a deal to get him from
Webber struggled in his first three games with Philadelphia,
shooting a combined 17-for-54, and not immediately clicking with
Iverson to provide the potent inside-outside game that was
expected. Against the Cavs, Webber took a small step toward fitting
"There comes a point where you have to have self pride and say,
'I'm going to make this work and fit in," Webber said.
He missed seven of his 10 shots in the first quarter before
shooting 50 percent in the second quarter and 60 percent in the
third. In the third quarter, Webber's no-look pass in the lane
allowed Dalembert to complete a three-point play. On Philly's next
possession, Webber came right down and made a 20-footer to give the
Sixers a seven-point lead.
"I thank the guys for being patient," Webber said.
With more games like this one, it will be worth the wait.
Cavs coach Paul Silas benched F Drew Gooden and started
Robert Traylor. It was Traylor's first start since 1999-2000 with
Milwaukee. "I don't have any scoring off the bench," Silas said.
"I'm hoping Drew coming off the bench can be my go-to guy." ...
Cavs G Eric Snow scored six points in his first game against the
Sixers since they traded him last summer. Snow spent 6½ seasons
with the 76ers, averaging 9.7 points and 6.6 assists while helping
them to the 2001 Eastern Conference championship. ... Iverson was
whistled for a technical in the third quarter. He also became the
73rd player in NBA history to score 16,000 career points.