PHILADELPHIA (AP)—In case Larry Brown somehow forgot what it was like to coach Allen Iverson, the All-Star showed his former coach a reminder of exactly what he’s missing in New York.
It was the way he takes over games with clutch points and playing hurt that has Philadelphia still in playoff contention, while the Knicks are flailing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Iverson scored 32 points and dominated New York for the second straight game to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 114-95 win over the injury-depleted Knicks on Sunday night.
Andre Iguodala added 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Sixers, who won their second game in three days over the woeful Knicks. Philadelphia had lost 10 of 12 before sweeping the home-and-home series against New York.
“We have a tough week ahead of us and to get those games out of the way was important,” Iverson said. “It was easy for us to go up against a team that hasn’t even won 20 games. They are playing relaxed and we are fighting to get into the playoffs.”
Holding onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by 1 1/2 games over idle Chicago, the Sixers desperately needed these two wins. They play the Bulls twice this week in games that could decide who gets that final playoff berth.
“We really needed them, but at the end of the day, that team doesn’t have a great record,” Webber said.
Iverson, who went to the NBA Finals with Brown in 2001, scored 47 points on Friday and had 32 through three quarters in this one before his teammates turned the game into a laugher early in the fourth.
Iverson got the Sixers rolling in the second quarter, hitting a nice fallaway jumper and free throw for a three-point play late for his 19th, 20th and 21st points. He finished with 10 points in the quarter and helped the Sixers to a 61-50 halftime lead.
At one point, some Knicks were more interested in watching a fan try and sink a $98,000 halfcourt shot instead of listening to anything said in the huddle. The shot, like New York’s effort, was no good.
Iverson strained his ribs late in the first half, though it hardly affected him in the third quarter. He slashed and crashed his way through the lane and added 11 more points, getting six from the free-throw line. He was able to sink a 3 right in front of Brown on the Knicks bench.
Iverson said he had no idea how he hurt his ribs, but was fine for the playoff push.
“I feel like everybody knows what is at stake,” Iverson said. “Everybody knows the importance of every game. We had a good meeting before the game in New York and I think it helped us out because it got us focusing on what we need to do as a basketball team.”
The Knicks played without injured starters Jalen Rose and Stephon Marbury. Marbury did not play because of his injured left knee, while Rose sat out because of plantar fasciitis of the left foot and a sore right knee.
“It was tough, we came in here really undermanned,” Steve Francis said.
“We’ve got to take care of the basketball and take good shots,” Brown said. “They just don’t get it.”
The Sixers used an 11-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to go up 21. Webber had seven steals and the Sixers shot 55 percent.
“Everything we do from here on out has to be a team effort,” Iverson said. “If five guys play together on both ends of the court, we can make something positive out of this season.”
Brown said he did not expect Marbury to miss the rest of the season and listed the point guard as day-to-day. Rose will have an MRI Monday. … Brown said he would visit with and observe playoff coaches during a rare postseason off for him. … When asked to describe the season in 25 words or less, Brown joked he only needed one word. “And there’s a lot of them,” he said. “Hell. Miserable. Pathetic. Trying. I’ll give you my daughter’s spelling list. But I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully I’ll be better for it.” … Cheeks said there was a chance injured G Willie Green, who hasn’t played all season with a knee injury, would be activated before the end of the season. … The Sixers had three players score 20-plus points for the eighth time this season are 8-0 in those games.”