Philadelphia (31-33) at Los Angeles (37-26)

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Temp: 87° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Fri Mar 17, 2006
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The Philadelphia 76ers try to avoid their third straight loss without All-Star guard Allen Iverson when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers.

Iverson sprained his right foot early in Sunday’s win at Memphis, and did not play in either Tuesday’s loss to Toronto or Thursday’s 102-98 defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics.

Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said Iverson would not play against the Clippers and may not join the team Sunday at Golden State, either.

“I don’t think Allen is coming. He’s not playing (Friday) and we’re still waiting to see how he feels for Sunday,” Cheeks said. “It doesn’t look good.”

The 76ers have lost five of their last six games, and are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, just 2 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for the final playoff spot.

Philadelphia led by as many as 15 points in the second half against the Sonics, but suffered a fourth-quarter collapse for the second straight game.

The 76ers were outscored 29-19 in the final period on Thursday, and have been outscored 62-31 in the fourth quarters of their two games without Iverson this week.

“We got the lead and kind of tightened up and they hit big shots down the stretch and we didn’t,” said Steven Hunter, who scored a career-high 20 points and blocked six shots. “That’s the kind of thing where you’re missing your star player and he would’ve been able to bring this one home for us.”

The Sixers are now 2-4 this season without Iverson. They are averaging 92.5 points without their star, nearly eight points below their season average of 100.2.

The 76ers have won two straight games over the Clippers and seven of the last nine in the series.

Los Angeles lost 126-95 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday, snapping a four-game winning streak.

The Clippers shot just 34.3 percent from the field in the contest, while the Suns connected on 55.6 percent of their shots.

“We couldn’t make any of our shots and they made all of theirs,” Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Our bigs didn’t do a good job of finishing around the basket. We had a ton of good looks. You know if we can score those baskets and get a chance to set our defense just a little bit, it gives us a chance. But missing shots and letting them get to the open court where they can spot up their three point shooters, that’s a bad formula.”

Elton Brand scored 18 points Wednesday, and is averaging just 18.3 points in his last four games—seven points below his season average.

Chris Kaman scored eight points on 3-for-10 shooting against the Suns, but grabbed 16 rebounds just one game after recording a career-high 23 boards.

Los Angeles has already equaled last season’s win total of 37 with 19 games remaining, and is likely to post its first 40-win season since going 41-41 in 1992-93.

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