Indiana (29-26) at Philadelphia (30-28)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 91° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Mar 5, 2006
  • TV: ABC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Allen Iverson wasn’t invited to help the United States national team, but he’s been doing plenty lately to lead the Philadelphia 76ers.

Iverson looks to build off a pair of outstanding performances when the Sixers host the Indiana Pacers.

The winner of this game will own sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with Indiana going into the matchup a half-game ahead of Philadelphia.

Iverson had 47 points and 12 assists in Friday’s 119-113 win over Washington as Philadelphia improved to 5-1 since the All-Star break. The star guard was coming off a 40-point, 10-assist performance in Wednesday’s win over Houston.

However, Iverson insists he has not been motivated by being left off the list of players who will be invited to try out for the national team.

“I promise you it’s not that,” said Iverson. “If I can play the way I played the last two games from some controversy, I will hope there’s controversy going on all of the time.”

Iverson ranks second in the NBA with 33.4 points per game behind Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s the first player to reach 40 points and 10 assists in consecutive games since Michael Adams in January 1991.

Chris Webber added 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against the Wizards. The 77 points are the most Iverson and Webber have combined for since Webber was acquired in February 2005.

“We’ve been talking about this for a year-and-a-half, so we’re glad that this is coming,” said Webber, averaging 22.6 points and 11.2 rebounds since the All-Star break. “We really like playing together, and we’re getting it going. We’re really just trying to lead this team to where we know we can be.”

Samuel Dalembert played in his second consecutive game after missing three with an ankle injury, but Steven Hunter made his fifth straight start at center. Hunter had 11 rebounds and three points. Dalembert, the league leader with 3.2 blocks per game, played only four minutes and went scoreless.

“I just like the way Steven has been playing,” Cheeks said before Friday’s game. “At some point, Samuel will be starting. No rush.”

The Pacers are closing a four-game road trip. After winning at New Jersey and Washington, they lost 99-98 to Boston on Friday.

Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points to lead Indiana, which blew a 12-point lead in the second half. Stephen Jackson missed a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer.

“We softened up and we didn’t play a real hard forty-eight minutes of basketball, and we let too much to chance,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

The Pacers have lost five straight against the 76ers, including a 111-109 defeat on Nov. 5 in the teams’ only other meeting this season.

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