“He didn’t just foul him one time,” Iverson said. “He fouled him three or four times. He was just smacking his arms.”
Pau Gasol had 22 points and Posey scored the final four as Memphis erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit with defense and key shots down the stretch. The biggest defensive play came with about 20 seconds left, on Outlaw’s steal. The ball eventually ended up in the hands of Earl Watson who dished off to Posey for the layup and an 80-79 lead.
“I was just being aggressive, trying to get the ball,” Outlaw said. “It came loose, and that was it. I didn’t even know it came loose.”
Posey added two more free throws with 7.8 seconds left.
Iverson’s last-second 3-pointer was off the mark, and the Grizzlies had their 42nd win, guaranteeing the franchise’s first winning record.
Iverson returned to the 76ers starting lineup after missing four games with a bad knee, and two days after he refused to play when interim coach Chris Ford told the star guard he would come off the bench.
Iverson finished with 10 points, all in the first half. He missed all seven of his shots in the second half, mainly while reserve point guard Earl Watson was defending him. He also received a technical for arguing a non-call.
“It’s hard to believe that our team fought really hard and played well throughout the game, then to lose on a play like that is really tough,” Philadelphia interim coach Chris Ford said. “Everyone in the building knew what was taking place. They were yelling from their bench to take a foul.
“It’s very hard to take a loss like this.”
Gasol added 10 rebounds and four blocks, but his inability to convert foul shots down the stretch prevented Memphis, which had rallied early in the quarter, from taking a bigger lead. In the final 2:28, Gasol made only three of six free throws.
Outlaw had 15 points and six rebounds. Jason Williams had 11 points for Memphis.
The Grizzlies, who shot 39 percent in Saturday’s loss at Houston, continued their woes in the first half. They finished the first period at 29 percent and 35 percent for the half.
Philadelphia took a 66-57 lead entering the fourth quarter.
But Memphis erased the advantage early in the final period. The Grizzlies went on a 13-2 run, including nine straight points. When Gasol tipped in his own miss with 5:53 left, the Grizzlies had come back to take a 71-70 lead. The teams would trade leads until Posey’s layup.
The Sixers acknowledged they shouldn’t have let the double-digit lead slip away, but couldn’t avoid pointing to the non-call against Outlaw. But Iverson measured his words carefully in disagreeing with the play.
“I don’t want to say anything that will give them any more of my money.”
Sixers F John Salmons sat out the game with flulike symptoms. … The Sixers announced that F Glenn Robinson had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala. Robinson had loose bodies removed from the elbow as well as a bone spur on the back of the elbow. … Wells was ejected with 4:59 left in the third period after throwing the ball into the crowd. … Outlaw played the final six minutes without his trademark goggles, broken on a drive to the basket. He initially was whistled for a technical when he emphatically threw them toward the scorers’ table, but officials rescinded the call when he pleaded that he was trying to get rid of the equipment during play. … The Grizzlies swept the season series against Philadelphia, the fifth Eastern Conference team Memphis has swept. … Samuel Dalembert’s six blocks for Philadelphia tied a career high. … Memphis is 7-1 in March and 27-8 sinceJan. 1.