PHILADELPHIA (TICKER) —It took almost all 48 minutes, but Allen Iverson finally outdid his All-Star Game backcourt mate.
After McGrady drained a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left that tied it at 98-98, Iverson drove to the hoop and was fouled by Darrell Armstrong. He sank the first free throw and Orlando’s Mike Miller lost the rebound of the miss out of bounds with 0.8 seconds left to ensure the Sixers’ victory.
“To dribble down the lane and the little contact, it didn’t surprise me,” Armstrong said. “He’s a superstar and he gets those calls and you just go on.”
“I didn’t want to settle on a jump shot,” Iverson said. “I wanted to get a layup or a foul.”
Derrick Coleman scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Iverson - who started alongside McGrady for the Eastern Conference on Sunday in Atlanta - added 20 points for Philadelphia.
“This is a loss that really hurts because we felt like we could come in here and get a win,” said McGrady, who shot just 11-of-26 from the field but was 11-of-14 from the foul line. “There were some stretches in the game where we had some mental breakdowns that really cost us.”
Miller scored a career-high 33 points, but the Magic lost for the fifth time in six games and had their five-game winning streak in Philadelphia snapped.
The Magic trailed by as many as 12 points in the second quarterbut recovered and took a 69-62 advantage with 3:29 left in the third period on Jacque Vaughn’s bucket.
Kenny Thomas and Iverson brought the Sixers back. Thomas dunked and sank two free throws before Iverson made a pair from the line to cut the deficit to one. Iverson followed with a dunk and Aaron McKie had a steal and basket with one second left to give Philadelphia a 72-69 lead.
Thomas scored 11 points and McKie added 10 and nine boards off the bench for the Sixers, who shot 46 percent (33-of-72) from the field and enjoyed a 49-29 rebounding edge.
“We had six guys in double figures, we outrebounded them and took care of the ball down the stretch,” Sixers coach Larry Brown said. “We got lucky and got a win.”
Keith Van Horn chipped in 15 points for Philadelphia, which has posted consecutive wins for just the second time since December.
“Hopefully, we can continue to build on these wins that we’ve had here and maybe get home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs,” Van Horn said. “We’re not by any means out of it.”
After two free throws by Coleman gave the Sixers a 92-87 lead with 2:57 to play, McGrady sank a free throw and Miller drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to a point with 1:28 remaining.
McKie and Miller traded buckets and Eric Snow sank two free throws for a 96-93 Sixers’ advantage. Two foul shots by McGrady and two by Snow with 14 seconds set up McGrady’s 3-pointer.
“I guess Aaron McKie thought I was going to drive,” McGrady said. “He played off of me and gave me enough space to get my shot up, and it fell.”
“Eric Snow steps up and makes four free throws in a row, Aaron McKie makes a big steal at the end of the quarter, we had a lot of guys step up,” Brown said.
Miller went 5-of-8 from 3-point range while McGrady hit on 4-of-6 as Orlando made 12-of-26 3-point attempts while shooting just 42 percent (35-of-83) from the field.