NBA Game Summary - Denver at Philadelphia
(Wednesday, March 19th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 115, Denver 113
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Andre Miller scored 28 points and doled out 12 assists, upstaging Allen Iverson's return to Philadelphia as the sizzling 76ers edged the Denver Nuggets, 115-113.
Samuel Dalembert's miraculous dunk of a blind pass from Andre Iguodala put the Sixers on top with 32.9 seconds left, but Iverson had a chance to win it for the Nuggets. His three-pointer clanged off the iron, though, as did Marcus Camby's putback attempt, and Philadelphia hung on.
Iguodala scored 21 points, and Dalembert had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have won four straight, eight of nine, and 16 of 20. Willie Green added 16 points for Philadelphia, which moved to .500 (34-34) for the first time since it was 2-2. The Sixers remained in seventh place in the East, a half-game behind the Wizards, who edged the Magic Wednesday night.
Iverson had 32 points and eight assists for Denver, which has dropped two straight, and remains on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture. Denver fell to 2 1/2 games back of Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points, and Kenyon Martin had 22 points and six rebounds.
The storyline of the night was Iverson's first game in Philly since being traded for Miller in December 2006, and the principals didn't disappoint. The diminutive guard from Georgetown was given a loud, long standing ovation, as the Philly fans thanked him for his 10 years with the Sixers. Iverson was a seven-time All-Star, won four scoring titles and two All-Star game MVPs while with the club, and won the league MVP award in 2001 while leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals.
"I dreamed it up a certain way, and it was better than that," said Iverson of the crowd's reception. "It was emotional, it almost got to me. It made me feel good, it made me feel appreciated. It made me feel like the time I was here was worthwhile."
Miller was also playing against his former team, though, and he reminded the Nuggets with some clutch shots down the stretch.
The Sixers led 110-105 late in regulation, but Iverson drilled a three, and an Anthony dunk tied the game up with 2:52 remaining. A Miller three-point play put Philly on top, but Iverson drained another three, tying the game at 113-113 with 1:06 left.
Iguodala drove the lane, but lost his balance as he tried to spin, and blindly threw the ball up towards the backboard with his back to the net. The ball fortuitously found its way to an uncovered Dalembert, who guided it in for a 115-113 lead with 32.9 seconds left.
Iverson missed a three from the corner in the final seconds, and Camby's putback jumper banged off the iron. Iguodala wrestled the rebound away from Linas Kleiza, and stormed down the court as the final seconds ticked off.
"When I shot it, it didn't feel good," said Iverson of his last shot. "I wanted to take the three and go up one, but unfortunately I missed. My heart stopped for a minute when Marcus got it, then he missed. They were the better team than us tonight."
The two offensively minded clubs came out flying. Iguodala scored 11 points in the first quarter, and the Sixers took a 34-31 lead into the second.
Philadelphia opened up a seven-point lead early in the second quarter, which they stretched to 10 later in the frame.
The Sixers lead stood at 65-55 in the final minute of regulation, but Anthony Carter drained a three from the wing with three seconds left, cutting the Philly lead to 65-58 at the break.
After shooting the lights out in the first half, the Sixers came out cold in the second. Denver scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, a 13-0 run stretching back to the end of the first half, and took a 68-65 lead with 9:06 left.
The Sixers edged back in front, but an Iverson jumper in the final minute gave the Nuggets a 93-92 lead entering the final 12 minutes.
The Nuggets have dropped five in a row as the visitor, and are 12-22 on the road this season...Iverson has the highest scoring average in Sixers team history (28.1), is second on the all-time points list (19,583) and holds the club record for three-pointers (877)...Kleiza had seven points and 11 rebounds for Denver...Philadelphia shot 18-of-33 (54.5 percent) from the free-throw line.
03/20 01:19:46 ET