Through six games, Hill is averaging 19 points and 6.0 rebounds. After missing all of last season while rehabilitating from chronic foot and ankle injures, Hill had played just 47 games since the 2000-01 campaign coming into this season.
On Friday, he had 27 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Francis scored 32 points as the Magic rallied from 18 points down for a 122-113 victory over the defending Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers.
“We’re an explosive team,” said Hill, who also had four assists and four steals. “It’s just a matter of when we’re going to explode. We did that and got ourselves back in the game.”
Hill’s two 3-pointers matched his total from the previous four seasons combined.
“I know my game is driving and slashing and taking it to the basket, but from time to time I’ll take one,” said Hill, adding that he practiced more than 200 shots a day from beyond the arc this summer.
Hill acknowledged that his performance was a reminder of what he used to be, with so many aspects of his game working at the same time. But he also admitted that there’s still one thing missing.
“My jumping’s not there, but it’s coming,” he said. “It may not be like it was, but it’s going to come.”
Philadelphia has won back-to-back games, including Friday’s dramatic 106-104 overtime win over Indiana. Iverson scored 15 points, including the first buzzer-beating game-winning shot of his nine-year career.
“It’s a great feeling to hit a shot with no time on the clock,” said Iverson, who sank a halfcourt winner for the U.S. Olympic team against Germany in an exhibition game this summer.
Iverson is getting used to dramatic shots.
He sent a game into overtime in the final seconds earlier this week, and refused to lose confidence in his shot Friday despite going 5-for-23 from the floor in 44 minutes.
“I just couldn’t get in no type of rhythm,” Iverson said. “I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t feel my hands the whole game.”
Kyle Korver made seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points, Marc Jackson had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and John Salmons and Corliss Williamson each scored 15 points for the Sixers, who are 2-0 on their five-game homestand.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 12): Magic - 1st place (tied), Southeast Division. 76ers - 3rd place (tied), 1 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Magic - Francis, 20.8 ppg and 6 apg; Howard, 11.3 rpg. 76ers - Iverson, 26 ppg and 7.5 apg; Samuel Dalembert, 8.5 rpg.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2
LAST MEETING: April 14; Magic, 95-89. At Orlando, Juwan Howard scored 26 points for the Magic, while Dalembert had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Magic - 1-2 on the road; 76ers - 2-1 at home.
INJURIES: Magic - F Micael Bradley (knee); G Cuttino Mobley (groin); F Brandon Hunter (Achilles); C Andrew DeClercq (knee); C Mario Kasun (knee). 76ers - G Aaron McKie (shoulder); G Kendrick Brown (low back strain); F Glenn Robinson (ankle).