Philadelphia Larry Brown has coached Allen Iverson in all but one of the superstar's six NBA seasons, and says he's never seen Iverson play better.
Iverson had 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting as the Philadelphia 76ers avenged an earlier loss to New Orleans with a 108-87 victory Monday night that extended their home record to 8-0.
"The thing that is exciting me is he's trying to do the right thing every time down," Brown said. "His all-around game is as good as anytime I've been around him."
Iverson played one of his best games, making 7-of-9 free throws and dishing out four assists. Several other spectacular passes went unconverted by his teammates. He says his improvement has actually come on the defensive end.
"I'm being as hard on myself on defense as I've been in offense," Iverson said. "Before I was concentrating so hard on getting a good shot. Now I am working hard at both ends of the court."
Todd MacCulloch had 15 points, Keith Van Horn and Aaron McKie 14 apiece, and Eric Snow had 12 points and 10 assists for Philadelphia. The 76ers last won eight straight at home in 2000.
The win avenged a 99-98 last-second loss Nov. 19 in New Orleans, the only loss for the 76ers in their last eight games.
"We definitely wanted to send those guys a message," McKie said. "We knew we let one get away."
Jamal Mashburn, who had a season-high 37 points in the last game against the 76ers, scored 18 on Monday, but only two in the second half. Baron Davis added 17 points and Jamaal Magloire 11 for the Hornets.
"We were just a step slow tonight," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "We just didn't have it. If you have an off day that doesn't mean you didn't play well."
Suns 86, Bucks 81
Phoenix - Suns rookie Amare Stoudemire had his first NBA double-double with season-highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Shawn Marion had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Suns, who beat the Bucks in Phoenix for the 15th consecutive time. Milwaukee has lost 21 of 23 overall to the Suns.
The Bucks were without the injured Ray Allen and Anthony Mason. Allen was placed on the injured list Monday after spraining his right ankle landing on Shaquille O'Neal's foot in Sunday's loss to the Lakers.
Mason was sidelined because of a left hamstring strain. A third starter, Tim Thomas, didn't play in the second half because of a sore back.
Sam Cassell scored 22 for the Bucks. Michael Redd, starting in place of Allen, added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Stoudamire, in his second NBA start for injured Tom Gugliotta, had 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half.
Neither team led by more than seven in the first half, which ended in a 47-47 tie.
The Suns outscored the Bucks 14-10 in a cold-shooting third quarter and lead 61-57 going into the fourth. Phoenix was 7-for-22 and Milwaukee 5-for-20 in the third quarter.
Phoenix dominated the boards 54-41. The Suns' Stephon Marbury had 11 points and 12 assists.