Iverson said he would “definitely” play Monday after the 76ers won 93-89 at Dallas on Saturday. The five-time All-Star missed the last three games because of a strained left rotator cuff.
Philadelphia improved to 1-4 without the NBA’s leading scorer this season, behind a season-high 19 points from reserve John Salmons and 16 points from Kyle Korver. The Sixers reserves outscored Dallas’ bench 42-5.
“We always play as a team, but with Allen out, we have to really come closer as a team,” Salmons said. “No one can score like A.I. can, so we all came together to cover that loss.”
Willie Green has averaged 20 points in place of Iverson, who averages a league-best 29.1 points.
Iverson has scored 27.5 points a game in leading the Sixers in two come-from-behind wins over Indiana this season, including 40 points in a 102-90 road victory on Dec. 22.
Korver, a second-year forward out of Creighton, is second in the league in 3-point field goals made (121), and has hit 58 percent (11-for-19) from that distance over his last three games. In a 106-104 home win over Indiana on Nov. 12, he became the seventh player in franchise history to make seven or more 3-pointers in a game when he went 7-for-10. Korver finished with 23 points.
The Sixers have won just five of their last 12 games games.
Indiana has lost four in a row and six of eight, including a 95-88 home defeat to Denver on Saturday.
The Pacers won an NBA-best 61 games in the regular season last year, but the brawl with fans in Detroit on Nov. 19 led to suspensions of three starters— O’Neal (15 games), Jackson (30 games) and Ron Artest, who was banned for the rest of the season.
Even with the return of O’Neal and Jackson, the Pacers have dropped two games below .500.
“For us, right now, it’s not about worrying about being down, it’s about getting angry,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle. “We are no longer an elite team. We are a mediocre team struggling to stay in the playoff race, and we have to play perfect.”
The Pacers have won nine of the last 14 meetings with the Sixers, including three of the last four at Philadelphia.