Having Allen Iverson and Glenn Robinson back together again resulted in one of the Philadelphia 76ers’ worst offensive performances of the season. The duo will try to bounce back when the Atlantic Division-leading Sixers host the Utah Jazz.
Iverson missed a game with a right knee injury before returning to the lineup against Denver on Friday. Robinson, who sat out 15 straight games with a sprained left ankle, also returned, putting the tandem on the court together for the first time in more than a month.
The results weren’t good, as the Sixers shot just 39 percent in an 86-77 loss to the Nuggets.
Iverson missed 16 of 22 shots and finished with 18 points. He said he probably shouldn’t have played because his knee limited his effectiveness.
“I couldn’t move around like I wanted to,” Iverson said. “My best attribute is I’m quicker and faster than everybody else. Tonight I wasn’t even faster than their big men.”
Robinson looked rusty as well, managing just six points on 3-of-11 shooting. It was just the fifth time this season Iverson and Robinson played in the same game.
Making matters worse, Sixers forward Derrick Coleman hyperextended his left knee early in the third quarter Friday and didn’t return. His status for Sunday’s contest is uncertain.
The Jazz, who are coming in off a 100-93 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, are opening a six-game road trip.
Raja Bell led Utah with 17 points off the bench Friday, including six in a 1:37 span of the fourth quarter to give the Jazz an 87-86 lead. But the Jazz managed only two baskets the rest of the way, both coming in the final 25 seconds.
Andrei Kirilenko scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Jazz, while Greg Ostertag added 11 points and 12 rebounds. Harpring and Ben Handlogten each added 13 points for Utah, which suffered its fourth loss in six games.
Utah’s Carlos Arroyo started at point guard Friday after missing eight games with a sprained ankle. He had two points and four assists in 16 minutes.
The Jazz lost center Curtis Borchardt to broken wrist in the second quarter of Friday’s game. Borchardt missed all of last season with a broken foot, and five games this season with a broken finger.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 12): Jazz - 7th place, 2 GB, Midwest Division. 76ers - 1st place, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Jazz - Harpring, 16.9 ppg; Ostertag, 9.1 rpg; Arroyo, 5.9 apg. 76ers - Iverson, 28.9 ppg; Thomas, 9.4 rpg; Snow, 6.7 apg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 28; 76ers, 104-83.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Jazz - 1-7 on the road; 76ers - 6-5 at home.