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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Sixers lose Iverson for regular season

Despite absence of its standout player, Philadelphia halts Golden State’s seven-game winning streak

March 31, 2004

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— The Philadelphia 76ers proved again they're a better team this season without Allen Iverson.

Samuel Dalembert had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Kenny Thomas had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a 95-71 win over Golden State on Tuesday night, snapping the Warriors' seven-game winning streak.

The Sixers again played without Iverson, who will miss the rest of the season because of persistent pain in his right knee. An MRI showed a small lesion under Iverson's knee cap, but there was no ligament damage.

"We're just getting it done," said Sixers guard Aaron McKie, who added 18 points. "You can't look over at the sideline and worry who's in, who's out. That's something we've been dealing with for a long time here."

Iverson was not on the bench as the Sixers (32-43) kept their fading playoff hopes alive and improved to 13-14 without the NBA's second-leading scorer. Philadelphia is 10th in the Eastern Conference, 21/2 games behind eighth-place Boston.

The Sixers won their seventh straight at home and have won four of five overall. Dalembert and McKie led the way during a decisive 30-6 run in the third quarter. The Sixers shot 54 percent in the period and held the Warriors to only two field goals -- one on a goaltend.

Lakers 107, Hornets 88

Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant scored 23 points and Gary Payton added 20 as Los Angeles routed New Orleans despite falling behind by 12 points in the opening four minutes. The win was the ninth straight for the Lakers (51-23). New Orleans (37-37) lost for the fifth time in six games, dropping to .500 for the first time this season and into a tie with Milwaukee for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Nuggets 124, SuperSonics 119

Denver -- Carmelo Anthony had a career-high 41 points and Andre Miller added 14 points and 16 assists, helping Denver hold off Seattle to move into a tie for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Anthony was 19-for-29 as Denver shot 50 percent to tie idle Utah for eighth place in the West.

Mavericks 126, Cavaliers 109

Dallas -- Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash did their best to upstage LeBron James, leading Dallas over Cleveland in a win that clinched a playoff berth. Nowitzki had 35 points, a season-high 18 rebounds and four assists, while Nash added a season-high 31 points and 10 assists.

Bucks 95, Pacers 86

Milwaukee -- Joe Smith matched his season high with 25 points and added 14 rebounds, and Milwaukee defeated Indiana for the third time this season.

The victory snapped a four-game home losing streak for the Bucks (37-37), who play tonight at Indiana in the teams' fourth and final meeting of the season.

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