The Sixers have won two straight without their All-Star guard, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
Philadelphia, which will host New York before heading out on a four-game road trip, has won three consecutive games overall, including Tuesday’s 89-81 win over Chicago.
“Kenny has been outstanding—defensively, rebounding and he has been our go-to-guy,” coach Chris Ford said. “He’s confident now with our offense and the touches he gets.”
Iverson had a forgettable game against the Knicks in their last meeting March 3. He returned from a four-game absence due to a bruised shoulder and shot 2-for-21.
“I can’t remember the last time I was struggling like that, not just missing shots but missing layups,” Iverson said after that game. “Even guys on the other team were asking me if I was all right. I couldn’t understand it.”
That victory ended a six-game skid for New York, which went on to win three straight before losing 87-84 to Boston on Tuesday.
On their final possession against the Celtics, the Knicks ran the clock down before Stephon Marbury launched a long straightaway 3-pointer that hit the front of the rim.
“I was open. I had a good look. I’d take that shot again,” Marbury said. “If I make it, we win, and I thought it was going in.”
New York is tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference and is in a battle to make the playoffs. There are five teams within two games of the Knicks, including the 76ers.
While the Sixers hope to get Iverson back soon, they are without Glenn Robinson. The forward will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair bone chips in his right elbow.
No timetable has been set for his return, but Robinson said he’s optimistic he’ll be back in time for the postseason if the 76ers make the playoffs.
“It’s been bothering me for a while and every time it flares up it’s gets worse and worse,” Robinson said, adding that he made the decision to have surgery after talking with his agent, Sixers president Billy King and interim coach Chris Ford.