PHILADEPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson has scored 87 points and dished
out 22 assists in the two games since he was snubbed for the United
States' national team.
Coincidence? Iverson says yes.
Iverson had 47 points and 12 assists to lead the Philadelphia
76ers to a 119-113 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday
It's the first time Iverson has reached 40 points and 10 assists
in consecutive games. He had 40 points and 10 assists against the
Rockets on Wednesday night. The victory was the Sixers' fifth in
six games since the All-Star break.
"I promise you it's not that," Iverson said, while continuing
to maintain he wasn't bothered by not being invited to play. "If I
can play the way I played the last two games from some controversy,
I will hope there's controversy going on all of the time."
Gilbert Arenas scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter,
including five straight to bring Washington within 114-113 with
1:30 remaining. But his driving layup spilled out with the Sixers
up three and 50 seconds to go, and the Wizards wouldn't score
Chris Webber, who added 30 points and 12 rebounds, sealed the
win with a three-point play with 14.5 seconds left.
The 77 points are the most Iverson and Webber have combined for
since the latter was acquired in a trade deadline deal in February
of last year.
"We've been talking about this for a year-and-a-half, so we're
glad that this is coming," Webber said. "We really like playing
together, and we're getting it going. We're really just trying to
lead this team to where we know we can be."
Antawn Jamison had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards,
who have lost three in a row.
While Arenas used his initial All-Star snub as motivation for a
strong second half of the season, Iverson says he needs no such
"I felt good out there," Iverson said. "My shot felt good
from the beginning of the game to the end. When guys were helping
on me, my teammates were getting open ... and they were hitting
Said coach Maurice Cheeks: "Phenomenal is the word."
Caron Butler, who had been battling stomach problems, had 18
points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, but left the game with 32
seconds to play after suffering an injury to his right ankle in a
scramble for a loose ball.
Washington held a 14-5 edge in offensive rebounds, which led to
21 second-chance points, through the first three quarters to keep
the game close despite 59 percent shooting from the Sixers.
After Iverson crossed over Antonio Daniels and got a layup that
gave them a 95-90 lead, Arenas responded with a dunk, free throw
and a 3-pointer to give the Wizards their first lead since the
second quarter, 96-95.
Iverson responded with seven straight Sixers' points to give
them a five-point lead. A jumper by Webber put the Sixers up
110-102 with 4:30 left.
"We played very hard, especially in the second half," Wizards
coach Eddie Jordan said. "I thought we waited a little too long to
play at a high level, energy-wise. Allen is playing at a high level
we really couldn't contain him tonight."
Iverson hit his first 10 free throws before missing his
first in the fourth quarter. ... Although Samuel Dalembert played
in his second straight game after missing three with an ankle
injury, Steven Hunter made his fifth straight start at center. "I
just like the way Steven has been playing," Cheeks said before the
game. "At some point, Samuel will be starting. No rush." Hunter
had 11 rebounds and three points. ... Jared Jeffries, who missed
Thursday's practice with a strained left calf, started but was just
2-for-8 from the floor for seven points in 24 minutes. ... Daniels
was visibly upset after not receiving a foul call in the fourth
quarter, leading teammate Antawn Jamison to bark, "Leave it alone
and play ball!" Prior to the game, Jordan complained that his team
had been affected by the officials in its previous two losses.