NBA Game Summary - Utah at Philadelphia
(Monday, December 20th)
Final Score: Utah 103, Philadelphia 101
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Mehmet Okur's free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining negated another big scoring performance by Allen Iverson and lifted Utah over Philadelphia, 103-101, at the Wachovia Center.
Iverson scored 51 points with seven steals and six assists, becoming the first player with back-to-back 50-point performances since Antawn Jamison turned the trick for Golden State in December 2000. Iverson dropped 54 in a 116-97 victory at Milwaukee on Saturday.
Iverson shot 18-of-31 from the field overall, 4-of-6 from three-point territory and 11-of-17 from the foul line. But the Jazz were too good, shooting 48 percent as a team and bouncing back after letting a double-digit halftime lead get away from them.
"You use up so much energy trying to get back into the game, and we just couldn't pull it off," Iverson said. "This is one we could have had, and one we should have had."
Carlos Boozer scored 28 with 10 rebounds to lead Utah, which snapped a three- game losing streak. Okur added 20 points and 10 boards, while former Sixers Matt Harpring and Raja Bell scored 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Kyle Korver was the only other Sixer that scored in double figures, hitting five of his seven three-point attempts on the way to 16 points. Philadelphia lost for just the second time in six games.
Utah led by 16 points at halftime, but Philadelphia used an 21-8 run to claw back into the game.
Iverson scored 12 points during the burst, and the Sixers turned a 59-43 deficit into a 67-64 margin with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Philadelphia then took its first lead since 8-6 when Korver drained a three- pointer to make it 74-73 at the 1:31 mark. Korver again gave the Sixers a lead, at 79-77, with a three at the buzzer.
That came in the midst of a 13-0 run, and Philadelphia took its largest lead of the game at 87-77 on Iverson's free throws less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.
But the Jazz responded with 13-3 burst to tie the game at 90. They took the lead again at 95-94 on a Boozer field goal, and never trailed the rest of the way.
Korver tied the game at 101 with his fifth and final three-pointer, but the Sixers didn't score in the remaining 68 seconds. Okur's free throws came after an offensive rebounds and Iverson's sixth foul.
The Sixers had a chance to tie or go ahead at the other end, but Willie Green's runner in the lane missed, and a tip-in try by Brian Skinner rimmed out at the buzzer.
"We wanted to run exactly what we got...the tip didn't go in for us," Sixers head coach Jim O'Brien said.
Utah led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter after two Okur free throws capped a 14-5 burst to make it 27-16 inside the 2:00 mark.
The Jazz carried a 29-20 advantage into the second quarter, and pushed their lead all the way to 57-41 at halftime.
The deficit for Philadelphia would have been much worse if not for 22 points from the foul line and 19 points from Iverson.
Iverson became the first Sixer to post consecutive 50-point games...Philadelphia's Corliss Williamson was ejected midway through the third quarter after being whistled for a technical foul for grabbing Harpring's neck and pushing him. "I thought it was a game that Corliss needed to [finish]," a disappointed O'Brien said...Utah improved to 1-3 on its current five-game road trip and snapped a seven-game road losing streak...Philadelphia forward Kenny Thomas (back strain) and guard John Salmons (bronchitis) missed the game...The Sixers were playing their final home game for three weeks, as they will be embarking on a seven-game post-Christmas road trip.
12/20 22:35:50 ET