- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 4, 2006

PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson might not be what USA Basketball is looking for, but he’s doing just fine this season.

Passed over as one of the 22 players invited to this summer’s national team tryouts, the Philadelphia 76ers guard, who has said he is not bothered by the snub, scorched the Washington Wizards for 47 points and 12 assists last night in a 119-113 win in front of 14,832 at Wachovia Center.

“When you have a guy who has that much freedom with the ball it’s [darn] near impossible to stop,” Wizards reserve guard Antonio Daniels said. “If he gets the ball in the middle of the floor you are basically on an island. You have to stop the quickest guy in the league by yourself.”

Iverson, who posted the 72nd 40-point effort of his career — and 13th of this season — was 17-for-28 from the floor. And he was not the only player the Wizards had trouble stopping.

Former Wizards forward Chris Webber, who executed the pick-and-roll for much of the night with Iverson, was 12-for-22 from the floor for 30 points and 12 rebounds. He also handed out a season-high eight assists. Andre Iguodala chipped in with 19 points for the Sixers (30-28), who took over sixth place in the Eastern Conference from the Wizards (29-28).

The loss was the third in a row for the Wizards, who have lost six of their last seven road games.

The Sixers made 56.3 percent of their field goals. That allowed them to win despite being outrebounded 48-34.

Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 33 points and eight assists. Antawn Jamison added 24 points and Caron Butler 18 to go with 12 rebounds, but Butler left the game late in the fourth quarter with a high sprain to his right ankle.

“We think it’s going to be OK, but you never know. We’ll just have to see how it’s doing [today],” said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, who was denied his 100th career win with the club for a third time.

As good as Iverson was, the Wizards still had a chance to win the game. After Arenas drilled a 3-pointer to pull the Wizards within 114-113 with just more than a minute to play, Webber sank a pair of free throws to give Philadelphia a three-point cushion. After Jamison missed a 3-pointer, Webber iced the victory with a three-point play on a driving layup with 14.4 seconds left.

While the Wizards are struggling, the Sixers, who will play host to Washington again April 10, are headed in the right direction with a 5-1 record since the All-Star break.

“You can’t just put it on one thing; we’ve been doing a lot of things well,” Iverson said. “We are playing well together, we are defending, we are doing a lot of positive things out there. We are putting ourselves in position to win games and we are giving ourselves a chance to win every night.”

The Wizards handled the Sixers with relative ease in their first two meetings, both of them afternoon games at MCI Center.

Their 104-76 rout of the Sixers on Jan. 16 still represents the largest loss of the season for the Sixers, who were held to a season low in both points and shooting percentage (33.3) that day. And in their second meeting Arenas scored 27 points as the Wizards cruised 107-97 on Feb. 12.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide