Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 1st
Game 2: Saturday, January 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 13th
Game 4: Sunday, April 8th

Hawks 75

(0-1, 0-1 away)

76ers 88

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    7:00 PM ET, November 1, 2006

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 14 21 23 1775
    PHI 29 20 24 1588

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: J. Johnson 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Philadelphia: A. Iverson 32 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast

    Iverson, Sixers continue dominance over Hawks

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson spent his summer worrying Philadelphia would trade him.

    Elias Says
    Allen Iverson
    Allen Iverson had 32 points in the Sixers' 88-75 victory against the Hawks. It was Iverson's third straight 30-point performance in a season opener, the longest such streak for any player since Michael Jordan began three straight seasons in that fashion from 1995-96 through 1997-98.

    • For more Elias Says, click here

    Instead, he was back with the 76ers for another opener. But with livelier defense and more confidence down the stretch, it seemed to Iverson as if he was with a whole new team.

    Iverson scored 32 points and Andre Iguodala had 15 to lead the 76ers over the Atlanta Hawks 88-75 on Wednesday night.

    Samuel Dalembert had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Chris Webber grabbed 13 rebounds for the Sixers, who improved their mark on opening night to 39-19.

    "If you play great defense, you get a chance to make your offense better," Iverson said. "That's how we'll get better, by playing defense. If we can rebound the basketball, I don't think nobody can deal with us."

    Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 25 points, and Zaza Pachulia and Josh Childress each had 15. Atlanta lost its eighth straight opener.

    Maybe the Sixers didn't have to change their roster to be a better team after all.

    With nearly the entire roster back from a team that missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and had no significant additions, not much was expected this season from the Sixers.

    And with the Eagles underachieving and the Flyers shaking up their personnel, there was little buzz for the Sixers opener, translating into plenty of empty seats, especially in the upper deck.

    The Sixers led by as many as 23 late in the third quarter and were poised to turn this one into a blowout until the familiar problem of wasting large leads happened again.

    In last season's opener, the Sixers squandered a late double-digit lead in the final minutes and lost in overtime, setting the tone for a familiar pattern the rest of the year. Not this time.

    "After last year's first game, this is a step in the right direction," coach Maurice Cheeks said.

    But not before the Sixers took a brief detour toward a more troubling direction.

    The Hawks chipped away and pulled to 81-71 late in the fourth on Childress' jumper. The Sixers handed Atlanta more opportunities, on a shot clock violation, and missed shots by Iverson and Webber on the same possession, but the Hawks went cold down the stretch and didn't convert either of those chances.

    Not surprising. They are the Hawks.

    Webber then hit a 17-footer and Dalembert dunked. The lead was back to 15 and the Sixers were back on their way.

    "I think we used up too much energy to get it to 10," Childress said. "It's frustrating because it was the first game of the season and we came out flat."

    Defense was a training camp priority for the Sixers after pretty much blowing a playoff spot because they couldn't play any last season. The results were promising: Philadelphia held the Hawks to 33 percent shooting and outrebounded them 47-42.

    "It's the first game, you know?" Webber said, his twinkle, if not his shooting (4-for-16), in midseason form. "We'll see how it goes after that."

    Having an early cushion certainly helped the Sixers survive the late run.

    Dalembert hit a turnaround jumper to start a 15-0 run and help the Sixers dash to a 21-4 lead. Iverson hit a 3-pointer during the spurt and Iguodala converted a rare four-point play that energized the crowd.

    The Hawks went on a couple of runs here and there, but Iverson hit a jumper from the left wing in the waning seconds to give the Sixers a 49-35 halftime lead.

    "We couldn't make shots early in the game, dug a hole and couldn't climb back," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.

    Iverson was back for his 11th season in Philadelphia and didn't look like he lost a step. Iverson scored 30-plus points in a game last season a whopping 49 times and might be able to top that this year now that veteran Kevin Ollie is starting with Iverson in the backcourt and assuming the true point guard role.

    Iverson had a solid overall game, going 9-for-21 from the floor, 13-for-14 from the free throw line with six assists.

    Game notes

    Webber addressed the crowd before the game, asking the fans for their support and promising a "lot more good times than bad." Webber and Iverson were sharply criticized last season for missing the home finale's Fan Appreciation Night. .. Atlanta F Lorenzen Wright was suspended for the game for his role in a preseason fight. ... What's this? Iverson actually in agreement with the media? Instead of doing his postgame newser at the podium, he sat in front of his locker and was mobbed by the media. Iverson wants his relaxed podium setting back. "If you guys cause a whole bunch of commotion, we don't have to do it like this no more," he said. "We can get this straight. All of us have to petition."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 75 88
    FGM-FGA 26-78 (.333) 31-74 (.419)
    3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 3-9 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 19-22 (.864) 23-25 (.920)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-42 15-47
    Assists 11 19
    Turnovers 18 17
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 11 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 0 23

    Top Performers

    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 25
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Allen Iverson Iverson
    Points: 32
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0