NBA Game Summary - Philadelphia at Boston
(Wednesday, November 3rd)
Final Score: Philadelphia 98, Boston 95
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Allen Iverson poured in 30 points and hit a key three-pointer to cap an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied for a 98-95 victory over Boston in the season-opener for both teams at the FleetCenter.
Iverson also handed out six assists, while Marc Jackson chipped in 15 points for Philadelphia, which outscored Boston 27-12 in the final period.
Jim O'Brien made his 76ers' head coaching debut, while Doc Rivers guided the Celtics for the first time since being named the 16th coach in franchise history in early May.
O'Brien resigned as coach of Boston in late January after several conflicts with Danny Ainge, the team's director of basketball operations. Overall, O'Brien spent seven seasons in the Celtics' organization.
"I wanted him to come in here and get a win and I wanted him to feel good about our team and in the end, feel good about our effort because we could have thrown that game away," Iverson said about O'Brien returning to Boston.
Meanwhile, Rivers had spent four-plus campaigns as the head coach of the Magic before being fired early in the 2003-04 season following a 1-10 start.
Kenny Thomas and Kyle Korver each netted 12 points for Philadelphia. Thomas also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Paul Pierce collected 35 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Boston. Ricky Davis scored 14 points and Mark Blount contributed 12 points and eight boards in the loss.
The Celtics opened the third quarter with an 18-2 burst to grab a seemingly comfortable 71-53 advantage. Pierce had six points and Gary Payton drained a three-pointer during the spurt.
Philadelphia then battled back. Two free throws by Jackson with 1:11 left in the period cut the deficit to 80-71. However, Pierce countered with a three- point play and Boston held a 12-point lead after 36 minutes.
The 76ers again rallied and pulled within 86-85 following consecutive three- pointers by Korver, the latter coming with 8:40 remaining.
Boston then scored seven of the next nine points to stretch the margin to six with just over five minutes left. However, Philadelphia answered with an 11-0 burst, highlighted by three-pointers from Korver, Willie Green and Iverson to move in front 98-93 with 2:52 left.
Davis hit a jumper 19 seconds later, but that was it, as both teams were unable to convert the rest of the way. On the final possession of the game, Pierce misfired on a three-pointer and time expired.
"I was encouraged by the effort. I thought we competed the entire night," said Rivers. "I thought we had a stretch in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter where we struggled. I thought we stopped attacking. I thought we got a lead and kind of tried to sit on the lead and you can't do that."
The Sixers were clinging to a two-point lead late in the first quarter, before going on a 16-4 spurt to take a 38-24 advantage with 8:57 left in the second period. Iverson had seven points during the run, including a three-pointer.
Boston then stormed back. Pierce scored nine points during a 26-10 burst that put the Celtics ahead 50-48 with 51 seconds remaining in the stanza. Boston eventually carried a 53-51 lead into the locker room thanks to Walter McCarty's three-pointer at the buzzer.
Pierce ended the first half with 17 points, while Iverson led Philadelphia in the opening 24 minutes with 14. Boston was 20-of-33 from the field (61 percent) through two periods.
Prior to the game, the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox were honored...Green ended with 11 points, while McCarty had 10 for Boston...Payton was playing in his first game for the Celtics after being acquired along with forward Rick Fox, who retired, a future first-round draft pick, and cash from the Lakers. In return, Boston sent guard Chucky Atkins, forward Jumaine Jones and forward/center Chris Mihm and a future second-round pick to LA...Philadelphia has won seven of its last 10 at Boston.
11/03 23:40:17 ET