Iguodala raced the length of the floor to stuff Ilgauskas' layup
just seconds after a 10-0 run by Philadelphia helped send the 76ers
to a 93-81 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
"That was one of the highlights of the season," Philadelphia
coach Jim O'Brien said. "We tell our guys to chase everything
down. Terrific hustle."
Allen Iverson tore the bandage off his chipped thumb and scored
31 points, and Chris Webber added 14 -- including a ridiculous
3-pointer to start Philadelphia's fourth-quarter push -- as the
Sixers moved one-half game ahead of Orlando in the Eastern
Conference playoff race. The Magic played later at Seattle.
Kyle Korver added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who
improved to 6-5 since Webber arrived in a trade.
With Philadelphia down 79-77 and the 24-shot clock running down,
Webber picked up a loose ball in front of Cleveland's bench and
flung in his 3-pointer to put Philadelphia ahead for good.
The shot triggered a game-closing 16-2 run for the Sixers, who
held the Cavaliers without a field goal over the final 6:51.
"I tried to get a foul and then I just threw it up there,"
Webber said, smiling. "It went in."
The lucky shot deflated the Cavaliers, who had battled back from
a 15-point deficit in the second half.
"That took a lot out of us," Jeff McInnis said. "That was
crazy. But we still had a lot of chances."
One came with the Sixers leading 87-79 and 3:02 left. Ilgauskas
got free upcourt and took a long pass before heading to the basket
for what appeared to be an easy layup or dunk.
But just as he got the ball up close to the rim, Iguodala
arrived, swooped in and swatted it away.
"It was instincts," Iguodala said. "I didn't want him to get
an easy shot. He was going a little slow and I just happened to
catch him. He had to bring up his right hand and I just got ahold
LeBron James scored 16 points on just 3-of-20 shooting for the
Cavs. He came in averaging 35 points and shooting 56 percent in his
past three games, but never found his range.
"It was just one of those nights," James said. "Dang, I was
missing all kinds of shots."
Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, chipped a bone in his left
thumb Tuesday night in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He didn't
practice the past two days or take part in Friday's morning
Sixers medical personnel designed a special wrap for Iverson's
thumb, using an adhesive that molded and hardened around it to
protect and immobilize it. But after missing his first four shots,
Iverson tore the bandage off, wadded it into a ball and tossed it
to O'Brien, who never doubted that Iverson would play.
"I would have been shocked if he didn't," he said.
Iverson added nine rebounds and five assists in 44 minutes. He
shot 9-for-27 but refused to blame that on his thumb.
"I got hit on it a couple times going to the basket and falling
down, but it didn't bother me," he said.
Ilgauskas added 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavs, who
missed their final nine shots and dropped to 24-9 at home.
Philadelphia had a season-high 13 blocks. ... Cavs coach
Paul Silas wouldn't say if he tried to contact Utah forward Carlos
Boozer. Silas was fined $10,000 by the team for a making a
derogatory remark about Boozer earlier this week. "I'm through
with that," Silas said. ... The trip to Cleveland allowed Korver
to see Creighton, his alma mater, play in the NCAA tournament on
Thursday night. ... Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert will bring his
own cheering section next Tuesday. He's treating 700 of his
employees from Rock Financial and Quicken Loans in Livonia, Mich.,
to a Cavs game. They'll travel down on 13 buses. ... Browns coach
Romeo Crennel attended the game, as did Cavaliers part-owner, R&B
superstar Usher, who spent most of the second half standing and