Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/12

Game 1: Sunday, December 12th
Game 2: Saturday, December 18th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 1st
Game 4: Monday, April 18th

Bucks 106

(30-51, 7-34 away)

76ers 122

(42-39, 24-16 home)

Coverage: CSN

7:00 PM ET, April 18, 2005

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
MIL 29 21 25 31106
PHI 36 34 24 28122

Top Performers

Mil: D. Gadzuric 21 Pts, 20 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Phi: A. Iverson 39 Pts, 7 Reb, 12 Ast, 3 Stl

Philly puts it away early, sees Detroit in view

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Just when Allen Iverson put some controversy behind him, a familiar face could be peeking around the postseason corner ready to stir up some mixed feelings.

Then again, with the way Iverson is playing, perhaps an emotional reunion with his former coach may be delayed.

Iverson had 39 points and 12 assists, and Kyle Korver scored 19 points to lead the 76ers back into the postseason for the first time in two years with a 122-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

"I feel like myself and my teammates, we are a playoff team," Iverson said. "We believed that all year. We believed in each other. We stuck with each other in good times and bad times and we never pointed fingers at each other."

The Sixers blew a chance to clinch a playoff spot a day earlier by losing in New Jersey, but they didn't waste this opportunity. They raced to a 22-point lead and won for the seventh time in nine games and 10th in the last 15 -- a fantastic finish for a team that seemed headed toward the lottery about six weeks ago.

Philadelphia (42-39) can finish, sixth, seventh or eighth in the Eastern Conference depending on how Indiana, fading Cleveland and streaking New Jersey fare in their final games. If Chicago beats the Pacers on Wednesday and the Sixers beat Atlanta, Philadelphia would earn the No. 6 seed.

"We had to act like we wanted to get in," Iverson said. "We had to play this game as hard as we could. I was telling my teammates `After this game, you should really be tired because you should leave everything out there.' This game had a lot on the line."

Playoff fever hasn't exactly gripped the city. Competing with a Mets-Phillies game across the street, there were plenty of empty pockets of seats in the lower level and upper deck. Maybe the possible return of former coach Larry Brown -- with whom Iverson famously feuded -- will the give the Sixers some juice on the local sports scene.

The Sixers would play second-seeded Detroit, the defending champion, if the standings remained the same.

"It doesn't matter, regardless of who we start out with," Iverson said.

Chris Webber had 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 15 for the Sixers.

Not even 21 points and 20 rebounds from Dan Gadzuric could help the Bucks. Desmond Mason scored 22 points.

After finishing 33-49 and out of the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-98 season, the Sixers hired coach Jim O'Brien, got outstanding seasons from their young nucleus of Korver, Samuel Dalembert and Iguodola and traded for Webber in February.

They also got a healthy, happy Iverson. While Steve Nash and Shaquille O'Neal will probably garner most of the MVP votes, Iverson has certainly made a case with one of the best seasons of his nine-year career.

"These are the results," Iverson said. "It all paid off."

Iverson made sure the wait for a postseason bid wouldn't last to Wednesday's finale against Atlanta, scoring 26 points in the first half, punctuating it with an 18-footer right before the buzzer.

The Sixers led 70-50 at halftime, the most points scored in a half by the Sixers this year. They shot 58 percent in the half -- with Iverson going 9-for-17 -- and made six of 13 3-pointers.

Iverson averaged 45.3 points in four games against the Bucks.

"We had no answer for Allen," Mason said. "He played well and hurt us again. When he's going well, they're a tough team."

Iverson came in averaging a league-best 30.8 points and will join Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and George Gervin as the only players with four scoring titles.

"He's getting points, he's getting double-figure assists, he's getting everything," Korver said. "A lot of credit has to go to him."

Korver snapped a tie game with a 3-pointer, Webber converted a three-point play and Korver hit another 3 to lead a 9-2 run in the first quarter and give the Sixers a lead for good.

Game notes

The Bucks played without guard Michael Redd (left Achilles' tendinitis). They placed F Joe Smith on the injured list because of a cut on his pinky and activated C Daniel Santiago. Smith averaged 11 points and 7.3 rebounds in 74 games. ... Iguodala, the only Sixer to start every game, thanked the fans for their support before the game. ... O'Brien is the first Sixers coach to have a winning record in his first season since Jim Lynam in 1988-89. ... Iverson surpassed Charles Barkley for second place on Philly's season points list.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 122
FGM-FGA 39-85 (.459) 48-89 (.539)
3PM-3PA 6-13 (.462) 11-24 (.458)
FTM-FTA 22-26 (.846) 15-17 (.882)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 5-36
Assists 20 34
Turnovers 18 11
Steals 10 12
Blocks 2 2
Fast Break Points 21 32
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (1/0) 20 (4/0)
Largest Lead 0 22

Top Performers

Dan Gadzuric Gadzuric
Points: 21
Reb: 20
Ast: 0
Stl: 2
Blk: 1
Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 39
Reb: 7
Ast: 12
Stl: 3
Blk: 0