MIAMI (TICKER) —At least the struggling Philadelphia 76ers have been able to keep their heads above water.
“We just did a good job of stopping them on defense,” Iverson said. “We executed well on the offensive end. We just played an overall great game. On the defensive end, we mixed it up with man-to-man and zone, which helped keep them off balance.”
The Sixers posted only their fifth victory in 17 games, but won for the third straight time when a loss would have dropped them to .500.
“It’s a great win for us,” Sixers coach Larry Brown said. “Pat (Riley) has them playing so hard. I thought the Heat played great. We just hung on.”
Van Horn’s jump hook tied the game with 1:14 remaining and, following a Miami’s turnover, Iverson’s basket gave the Sixers the lead for good.
Van Horn and Eric Snow each hit a pair from the line to make it 96-91 with 27 seconds left. Derrick Coleman sealed the victory when he blocked rookie Caron Butler’s layup on Miami’s ensuing possession, then converted 1-of-2 from the line to complete the scoring.
The Sixers shot 80 percent from the line, making 28-of-35, including 11-of-13 in the final period.
“We made some foul shots tonight,” Van Horn said. “To win these close games you need to make foul shots at the end of the game. And we as a team did a great job at the line.”
Jones scored 26 points and Butler added 22 for Miami, which fell to 1-1 on a four-game homestand.
The contest was close throughout with neither team leading by no more than seven. It featured 18 ties and 11 lead changes.
“We had all the opportunities at the end to win it,” Riley said. “In this kind of game there is no room for error. We made one stop at 90-88, maybe the complexion of the game is a little bit different. They made some great plays.”
Miami opened a 74-68 lead on Jones’ 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Sixers closed to 74-71 entering the final period on Todd MacCullough’s foul shot and layup.
Snow scored 16 points and Coleman contributed 14 for the Sixers, who have won three in a row on the road.
“We weren’t making any shots in the fourth quarter,” Jones said. “It kind of got away from us. Down the stretch we didn’t do the things we needed to do to put the game away.”