PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson and Chris Webber are playing
more like a dynamic duo than dynamic duds. No longer a mismatched
pair, the two are dominating -- and woeful Toronto was the latest
team to pay.
Iverson scored 34 points and added 12 assists, Webber had 28
points and 16 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers won their fifth
straight game, 104-92 over the winless Raptors on Tuesday night.
Since losing their first three games, the streaking Sixers have
been perfect. They won all four games on their longest homestand of
the year and get the downtrodden Raptors again Wednesday night in
Iverson and Webber again led the way for the Atlantic
Division-leading Sixers, breaking the game open in the first
quarter. Webber made all six baskets and scored 14 points, Iverson
went 5-for-6 for 13 points and the Sixers shot 77 percent overall
as they raced to a 19-point lead.
When the two failed to click in the final 2½ months last season,
there were serious doubts they could thrive together. Instead, they
have combined for five double-doubles during the winning streak and
always look to each other as the first option.
"Everybody expected us to coexist right then and it didn't
happen every night, but it did happen some nights," Iverson said.
"Now we've had a whole training camp, we've got some games under
our belt and a new system. We've got a whole other chemistry and
it's been working fine so far."
The Sixers sorely needed all of Iverson and Webber's
first-quarter points because Charlie Villanueva led Toronto's
improbable rally in the fourth quarter.
Villanueva closed the gap to single digits when he hit a
3-pointer from the corner, Chris Bosh converted a three-point play
and Jalen Rose sank a free throw that pulled the Raptors to 84-78.
Villanueva again kept Toronto within striking distance with
another 3 from the top of the arc late in the fourth that made it
89-82. The first-round pick had his second straight outstanding
game, following a 26-point, 12-rebound game against Seattle with 27
points and 13 boards. His effort, though, wasn't enough.
"We need to throw the first punch instead of letting teams
throw the first punch," Villanueva said.
John Salmons, who scored 16 points, fought his way under the
hoop for a tough basket to push the lead back to 13 and the Sixers
regained control and cruised from there.
"We know that team was 0-6 and just for those guys to come in
here and get a win would have been devastating to us," Iverson
said. "Our whole thing was to not let them get their first win on
us in our house."
Even with six straight losses to open the season -- five of them
at home -- the Raptors gave the Sixers fits the last three quarters.
They scored 11 straight points to open the second and sliced the
deficit to eight at halftime on one of three 3-pointers from
"We thought they were going to give up, but they didn't,"
While the Sixers received balanced scoring from their starters
and surprising production off their bench during their winning
streak -- they had six players in double digits in a win Sunday
against the Clippers -- Webber and Iverson got little help from
anyone else until the fourth when Salmons held off another spirited
Salmons opened the fourth with a steal, was fouled on a
fast-break layup and made the free throw for a 76-65 lead. That
briefly spurred Philadelphia to a 13-point lead, only to have
Villanueva and the Raptors chip away.
Bosh had 19 points, and Rose 15 for the Raptors.
"I don't understand it, I don't," Bosh said. "I guess it
comes with experience."
Sixers C Michael Bradley was active for the first time this
year. He was worked into the offense early, throwing down a
one-handed dunk off Iverson's pass in the first quarter. ... Former
Michigan teammates Webber and Rose hugged before the tip. ...
Philadelphia's 39 points in the first were a season high for a