PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Detroit couldn't stop one A.I. -- let alone
Allen Iverson toyed with Detroit's unusually anemic defense,
finishing with 39 points and 10 assists, and Andre Iguodala had the
first triple-double by a rookie in more than a year in the
Philadelphia 76ers' 107-84 win over the Pistons on Wednesday night.
Iguodala played 42 minutes and was in the game until the final
buzzer, long enough to get 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists
and record the first triple-double by a rookie since Kirk Hinrich
on Feb. 28, 2004.
"I knew I was playing a pretty good complete game," Iguodala
said. "I didn't think about it all until the fourth quarter."
Iguodala, known for his outstanding defense and high-flying
dunks, said he needed this type of game to keep pace with some of
the NBA's other top rookies.
"I heard it when Ben Gordon got 30 and (Luol) Deng got 30, so I
was thinking I've got to do something to separate myself from the
rest of the rookies," he said.
Coach Larry Brown can't come back soon enough for the Pistons,
who looked downright sluggish in their second road loss in two
nights after winning five straight.
The Pistons entered the game ranked second in the league in
fewest points allowed with 89.4. Detroit's opponents were shooting
43 percent. That all went out the window early against the Sixers,
who made their first eight shots, then nine of their first 10 and
led by 14 points in the first quarter.
Iverson was at his best, getting involved in every possible way.
He had some hustle steals, nifty passes and crowd-pleasing
He picked off one pass at the top of Detroit's 3-point arc and
finished with an easy layup. He also got out of double-team in the
lane with a hard pass around one defender to Samuel Dalembert for a
Iverson stretched over two defenders for a running layup that
left some Pistons shaking their heads, and he lobbed a high pass to
a streaking Iguodala on the left side for a thunderous alley-oop.
"Dre does it all for us," Iverson said. "He doesn't come to
the gym concentrating on one area. The scary thing is he's only a
Iverson and Iguodala had some help in keeping the Sixers in the
eighth spot of the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Chris Webber
had 19 points and Samuel Dalembert added 11. The Sixers shot 54
percent and had 27 assists on 41 baskets.
Iverson shot 15-for-26 and acknowledged he was still bothered by
a chipped bone in his left thumb. Iverson has played with the
injury the last three games.
Detroit was without leading scorer Richard Hamilton, who was out
with a sprained left ankle. Rookie guard Carlos Delfino made his
second start in place of Hamilton and scored three points.
The Pistons fell behind early and never recovered, unable to
make any significant run to challenge Philadelphia.
"We got in a big hole in the first quarter and you can't do
that against this team," Pistons coach Gar Heard said. "Once they
get going, they are tough to beat."
When the Sixers went up 23 late in the second half, team
chairman Ed Snider got up from his courtside seat for a standing
ovation and Iverson mouthed the lyrics to Kool and the Gang's "Get
Down On It," coming out of a timeout.
The celebration was on.
Even Brown would have appreciated Iverson's performance. Brown
spent six often-turbulent seasons in Philadelphia, often clashing
with Iverson during his tenure with the team.
^Notes:@ Hamilton, of nearby Coatesville, Pa., said he had busloads
of fans at the game. Hamilton said he landed wrong in a game
against the Spurs and sustained his first ankle sprain. "Ever,"
he said. Hamilton said he was day-to-day. ... Boxer Eric
"Butterbean" Esch competed in an ice cream eating contest.
Butterbean fights in Philly on Thursday. ... Heard said Brown could
be back Friday or he could back next week. Brown is out after
having surgery related to a November hip operation. ... Iguodala
had the first triple-double by a Sixers player since Eric Snow on
Feb. 26, 2003, and was the 13th Sixers player since 1979-80 to