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Iverson's 38 Are Good, His Key Pass Is Better

Associated Press
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page D07

Allen Iverson was smothered by a double team in the corner with time running out and no way to shoot.

Problem was, New York gave him room to pass.


76ers Coach Jim O'Brien, center, shouts instructions to Allen Iverson, left, who is guarding the Knicks' Stephon Marbury. Iverson scored 38 points. (Tim Shaffer -- Reuters)

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Iverson made a nifty assist to Marc Jackson for the winning layup with a second left, and the Philadelphia 76ers moved back to .500 and into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with a 106-105 victory over the visiting New York Knicks last night.

"I knew they'd double somebody, but I was surprised I was open," said Jackson, who scored 22 points. "It was a great play and we executed it perfectly."

Iverson was the first option, but he was quickly trapped by Stephon Marbury and Michael Sweetney. The Knicks still had a foul to give, but didn't use it and Iverson made them pay.

Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, started with a finger-roll layup on his first shot and rarely strayed from his slashing and crashing style en route to 38 points. He also added 10 assists for his 16th double-double.

The 76ers wasted a 15-point third-quarter lead when Marbury capped a 17-4 Knicks run with a three-pointer for a 99-97 lead.

• SUNS 136, JAZZ 128: In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire had 42 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash matched a season high with 18 assists to hold off Utah.

Quentin Richardson added 22 points, including a three-pointer with 1:21 left that opened a 128-121 lead. Nash scored 19 to help Phoenix move a half-game ahead of idle San Antonio for the NBA's best record.

Stoudemire scored 15 of Phoenix's 40 points in the third quarter to help the Suns overcome a four-point halftime deficit.

The Jazz had six players in double figures, three off the bench, but couldn't earn Coach Jerry Sloan his 953rd victory to tie Dick Motta for seventh place on the NBA's career list.

• PISTONS 107, BUCKS 83: Rasheed Wallace had 17 points and 10 rebounds, leading Detroit to a rout of visiting Milwaukee.

Chauncey Billups also scored 17 points for the Pistons, who had six players in double figures and have won eight of nine games. Ben Wallace had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Erick Strickland led Milwaukee with 18 points and former Piston Mike James scored 13.

• TRAIL BLAZERS 80, BOBCATS 77: In Charlotte, Nick Van Exel hit a 29-foot desperation heave at the buzzer to give Portland a win over Charlotte.

Van Exel was trapped near midcourt on the final possession before throwing a pass on the left sideline to Derek Anderson. Anderson flipped the ball through a double-team back to Van Exel, who drained the off-balance three-pointer from the left wing.


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