Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/15

Game 1: Tuesday, March 15th
Lakers91Final
76ers108
Game 2: Sunday, March 27th
76ers96Final
Lakers89

Lakers 91

(32-31, 11-19 away)

76ers 108

(31-33, 18-13 home)

Coverage: CSN

7:00 PM ET, March 15, 2005

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 25 17 20 2991
PHI 27 25 35 21108

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Philadelphia: A. Iverson 36 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

A.I. chips bone in thumb but scores 36

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson had every reason to feel good after his performance kept Philadelphia close to the division lead.

Surely the mood changed when the Sixers All-Star found out he was injured.

Iverson outperformed Kobe Bryant, scoring 36 points and leading a decisive third-quarter run in the 76ers' 108-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

Iverson helped pull the Sixers (31-33) to four games of Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division.

"It made me feel good," Iverson said. "Any win makes me feel good."

Iverson, though, chipped a bone in his left thumb sometime in the second half and will be fitted for a cast. He is day-to-day. The Sixers said Iverson will be re-evaluated Friday when they play again at Cleveland.

Iverson left the arena before the injury was announced.

The Sixers certainly need the league's leading scorer if they're going to make any kind of run at the Celtics.

"We would like to have that (winning) streak right now," said Iverson, before he knew the X-ray results.

Andre Iguodala scored 15 points for the Sixers, adding a few more spectacular dunks, including an alley-oop where he came crashing down on Jumaine Jones. Kyle Korver had 14.

Bryant -- who came in trailing Iverson by nearly two points in the league scoring race -- led the Lakers with 20 points, but had little help. The Lakers (32-31) fell out of the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.

Bryant made five of nine shots in the first quarter, but went 1-for-6 the rest of the game.

"We've got to get more people involved," Bryant said. "They were doubling me and the shots weren't falling."

Iguodala had plenty to do with that. The Sixers rookie kept a hand in Bryant's face most of the game and aggressively contested his shots. Iguodala said he watched plenty of tape to prepare for one of his toughest assignments.

"I knew if I kept my hands up and kept nagging him a little bit that I could make him take a tougher shot," Iguodala said.

Bryant scored 16 points in the first quarter and Iverson had 14 as the two seemed poised for a one-on-one showdown between All-Stars. But Bryant slowed down, thanks largely to the sticky defense by Iguodala, while Iverson kept driving and crashing.

Iverson scored 14 points during a 26-9 run in the third quarter by doing what he does best -- drive the lane, look for the layup and get to the line. When he couldn't do that, Iverson would dribble around the perimeter until he found an open look.

He took six of Philadelphia's 16 shots in the third (making three) and went 7-for-7 from the line. Overall, Iverson went 14-for-15 from the line and 10-for-22 from the floor.

On one fallaway layup from the right side, Iverson was fouled by Chucky Atkins. Atkins bitterly complained and was hit with two quick technicals and ejected from the game.

Korver sank the two free throws for a 66-50 lead. Rodney Rogers hit a 3-pointer near the end of the third, giving Philadelphia a 28-point lead.

Chris Webber again was a non-factor for the Sixers. He scored Philly's first two baskets of the game, sat out 5 minutes of the second quarter and missed his last six shots for five points.

Webber remained baffled as to why he has looked little like the five-time All-Star he was in Sacramento. Of course, watching Iverson take a bulk of the shots and not having coach Jim O'Brien call plays for Webber might have something do with his struggles.

"I don't want to put my finger on it," Webber said. "It's not because it's late in the season. I didn't become this player in one day."

Game notes


Bryant, who went to nearby Lower Merion High School, needed about 30 tickets. Among those invited were players on this year's Merion team and his former coach, Gregg Downer. Lower Merion plays in the Class AAAA state semifinals Wednesday night. Bryant said he loved playing in Philadelphia, even though he's always booed. "If I played here, they'd love it with the Philly attitude I have," he said. "But I enjoy coming here because of that." ... The Sixers are 17-10 when Iverson scores 30 or more points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
PHI
Points 91 108
FGM-FGA 33-90 (.367) 35-78 (.449)
3PM-3PA 9-26 (.346) 12-30 (.400)
FTM-FTA 16-24 (.667) 26-30 (.867)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-44 10-49
Assists 21 23
Turnovers 15 16
Steals 12 10
Blocks 1 6
Fast Break Points 4 21
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 16 (1/0)
Largest Lead 8 28

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Philadelphia
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 20
Reb: 3
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 36
Reb: 5
Ast: 9
Stl: 3
Blk: 1