PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Allen Iverson can still find ways to amaze his teammates.
After missing two games earlier this week after surgery to remove an abscessed wisdom tooth, Iverson played 45 minutes, went 15-for-30 from the floor, made 16 of 17 free throws, including his first 14, and added 10 assists for good measure. He scored 32 points in the second half.
“He’s unbelievable,” teammate Kyle Korver said. “He sat out four or five days, had a bunch of turkey, hasn’t done anything. He shoots for 10 minutes before the game and comes out and puts up 46 points and 10 assists in 45 minutes.”
Iverson had plenty of help as the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak. Willie Green scored 16 of his 20 points in the second quarter and Andre Iguodala followed a triple-double in his last game with 19 points and seven rebounds.
“Just being in good shape has a lot to do with (being able to come back so easily),” Iverson said. “Playing the game for so many years, you just kind of get used to it.”
“(Iverson) is very difficult to stop,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. “He’s a Hall of Fame player. We tried zone, man … we couldn’t stop him.”
With their star back on the court, the 76ers scored their most points in a game this season. Sparked by Iverson’s return and a strong start by Iguodala, the 76ers raced to a 16-4 lead. Iguodala scored 12 points and beat the first-quarter buzzer to put the 76ers ahead 31-24.
Green, who has averaged 19.8 points in his last five games, did his best Iverson impersonation in the second quarter. He knocked down seven straight shots and capped his run when he connected on a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the half to give Philadelphia a 60-50 lead.
Kurt Hinrich added 18 points for Chicago, but the Bulls were unable to make up for a horrid night by center Ben Wallace. The team’s key offseason acquisition played 20 minutes and did not score or grab a rebound. Wallace was pulled by Skiles with 5:44 left in the third quarter and did not return.
“I don’t need any explanation for what I do,” Wallace said. “If I knew the answer I’d be doing something to change it.”
“We needed some rebounding,” Skiles said. “We got so far down … I wanted to go in another direction. He’s got to play better, that’s obvious. But I don’t want it to become the focal point. Let’s put the focus on the guys who have been here.”
Philadelphia played for the fourth straight game without former All-Star Chris Webber (lower back soreness) and backup center Steven Hunter (right knee sprain). According to 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks, Webber is doubtful for Saturday night’s game at Cleveland, while Hunter is day-to-day … Deng has reached double figures in all 12 games this season .. Philadelphia’s Shavlik Randolph left the game early in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative but he did not return.