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Iverson has answer for Sixers' skid in win over Hornets

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- On any other night, Allen Iverson would have begged to go back in the game. On Monday, he was begging for extra rest.

Playing with flu-like symptoms, Iverson scored all 24 of his points in the first half and then happily sat out the fourth quarter as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New Orleans Hornets 103-91.

"I didn't feel good at shootaround," said Iverson, who told coach Maurice Cheeks he was ailing as he prepared to go back in for the fourth period. "He just told me to come back, and fortunately everything worked out fine."

Iverson, the NBA's second-leading scorer at 32.5 points per game, shot 8-of-22 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also had nine assists as the Sixers (7-5) snapped a two-game skid. It was the first time this season that Iverson failed to score at least 25 points.

"I didn't feel good at all," he said. "I was dizzy out there for virtually the whole game. Once I stopped playing at halftime and came back in, I just never felt right. I think I'm coming down with something. I want to get home and take some medication and see
how I feel in the morning."

Iverson was one of six Sixers to score in double figures. John Salmons scored 19 points, Andre Iguodala added 15 points and Chris Webber and Steven Hunter each had a double-double. Webber had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Hunter had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 10.

"I knew Allen wasn't feeling well and that I had to pick it up some," Salmons said. "He was encouraging us the whole fourth quarter to keep it up. It's a good feeling to play so well with Allen getting some rest."

The Sixers have been sporadic on defense this season, giving up an average of 106 points, 28th in the league entering the game. But their defense was much better from the start as they held the Hornets to 42 percent shooting in the first half en route to a 65-47 lead.

"We were more aggressive in our defense and the fact that we played more zone than we normally have," Cheeks said. "We were active in our zone, we were talking in our zone and we played a little more full-court defense."

David West scored 20 points, J.R. Smith added 17 and Speedy Claxton had 15 for the Hornets (4-6), who won their previous two games. The Hornets didn't win their fourth game until Jan. 11 last season.

"We were happy with two straight wins and that was satisfying enough for us instead of trying to come in here and get one against a very good basketball team," coach Byron Scott said.

The Sixers extended their lead to 83-63 after the third quarter and were never seriously threatened by the Hornets, who shot 5-of-21 from the field in that quarter and 31-of-78 (40 percent) for the game.

The Sixers also outrebounded the Hornets 50-38.

"They just got going," West said. "You can't let guys like that get comfortable."

Game notes
Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, who has missed every game this season with a right quad strain, said he expects to join the team soon after Thanksgiving. ... Attendance has started to dwindle
a bit for the Sixers. They drew 12,452 against the Hornets, slightly more than the 12,211 that showed up for their Nov. 12 game against Toronto, which was their smallest crowd since the 1998-99 season. "We've got to earn them back," Cheeks said.