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Balanced attack leads Knicks past A.I.-less Sixers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chris Webber was in, Allen Iverson was out
and Philadelphia still has no idea if their All-Star combo can
coexist any better this year than they did last season.

The Knicks were more than happy to not have to find out.

Jamal Crawford scored 16 points, Eddy Curry added 15, and Matt
Barnes had 13 to lead New York to an 80-71 preseason win over the
76ers on Tuesday night.

Iverson missed his third game with a sore right knee and
remained listed as day-to-day. He missed practice the last two
days, and coach Maurice Cheeks hoped his point guard could return
for the exhibition finale so the Sixers could have their starting
five play together for the first time this year.

Cheeks said Iverson told him before the game the knee was
improving and felt considerably better compared to Friday.

"Hopefully, it's not a lingering thing, not a major problem,"
Cheeks said. "We need him on the floor, we want him on the court
as quickly as possible."

Stephon Marbury scored six points in 15 minutes and left with a
bruised left shin. X-rays were negative.

The Knicks went on a 14-1 run early in the second quarter and
went ahead 40-23 on Nate Robinson's three-point play.

Kyle Korver hit a 3 and an 18-footer on consecutive possessions,
and Steven Hunter added a tip-in to pull the Sixers to 69-64 late
in the fourth. Crawford hit a 3-pointer to help the Knicks push the
lead back to double digits and New York won its second straight
game.

The Knicks committed 34 turnovers.

While coach Larry Brown was upset by the turnovers, he appeared
to realize it's the price to pay with a franchise in a long-term
rebuilding mode.

"If I had my druthers, at my age I would rather be with a more
established team," Brown said. "But this is fun. I enjoy
coaching. It's probably a much different challenge than I've had
recently, but that's OK."

After missing the first six preseason games with a strained
right quadriceps, Webber returned to Philadelphia's starting lineup
and scored 12 points in 34 minutes. Center Samuel Dalembert also
played for the first time after sitting out all but a few practices
with a strained quad and finished with nine points.

"I'm definitely encouraged by how I felt out there," Webber
said. "I can't overestimate saying that it felt really, really
good, and I felt encouraged by that."

John Salmons led the Sixers with 16 points and Andre Iguodala
had 14.

While Webber's legs held up, his shot did not. He missed 12 of
16 attempts.

"There was only one shot I felt awkward taking," Webber said.
"I know I rushed jump shots at the wing. Besides that, the shots
felt good."

Webber made a pair of nice plays, stripping Jerome James of the
ball in the first quarter and making a long pass to Korver to
convert an easy bucket on the break. Korver forced a turnover in
the second quarter and his long pass knocked off a referee and
bounced right to Webber, who lobbed one to Iguodala for the dunk.

The Sixers have been waiting for weeks to see how Iverson and
Webber will play together in a game. Cheeks has little idea how
well his injury-prone starting lineup will mesh under his system.

Not once have the Sixers had their starting five together on the
court, either in training camp, practice or a preseason game.
They'll get one more shot Thursday in San Antonio before opening
the season Nov. 1 at home against Milwaukee.

Sixers forward Lee Nailon and Knicks forward Maurice Taylor were
ejected in the first quarter after they were each hit with two
technicals within 40 seconds for arguing with each other.