Fourth-quarter meltdowns are almost inevitable during eight-game road trips.
The Sixers opened their trip with three straight wins, including a seven-point victory over the Northwest Division-leading Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday. But after two nights off, Philadelphia looked a bit lethargic in the fourth quarter at Denver as it was outscored 30-18.
“We had been doing a pretty good job of taking care of the ball lately, but I don’t think our decision-making was very good tonight,” said Sixers forward Kyle Korver, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. “For whatever reason, we were playing like we were tired.”
Iverson led the Sixers with 28 points, but made just 11 of 28 shots. He was 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter and missed a key free throw with 22 seconds left and the Sixers trailing by two. Iverson had another chance to tie the score after Denver’s DerMarr Johnson made only 1-of-2 free throws, but the 6-foot guard missed a scoop shot in the lane with nine seconds remaining.
Philadelphia got yet another chance after Andre Miller went 1-of-2 from the line, but Korver missed a 3-pointer with two seconds to play.
“We got the shots we wanted and the foul (Iverson) wanted,” Sixers coach Jim O’Brien said. “At the end, Kyle got not a great look but an adequate one, so we executed fairly well down the stretch. It just didn’t fall our way.”
The Clippers have lost three of their last four games, scoring less than 80 points in each of the defeats.
Corey Maggette and Rick Brunson each scored 17 points to lead Los Angeles in a 98-79 loss to San Antonio on Friday night. Elton Brand added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 41.6 percent (32-of-77).
Clippers point guard Marko Jaric has missed the last five games, and is expected to be out at least another four weeks after an MRI taken Thursday on his injured right foot revealed a stress fracture.