76ers 116, Kings 106

Although not the prolific scorer he was in his earlier years

with the Philadelphia 76ers, Allen Iverson is still a difference

maker.

The 34-year-old Iverson showed he still can score, getting 11 of

his 20 points in the third quarter. And his presence alone was a

factor as the 76ers pulled away in the final period for a 116-106

victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

Lou Williams scored 22 points and Andre Iguodala had 19 points,

nine assists and seven rebounds for the 76ers. Both Williams and

Iguodala scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, when the 76ers

stretched the lead to double digits. Iguodala said part of the

credit belongs to Iverson.

“He has helped us out a lot, he really opens the floor for

everybody when he’s out there,” Iguodala said. “He still draws a

lot of attention and teams can’t key on myself or anyone

else.”

Iverson is not happy about being limited to 28-30 minutes a

game, which are recommended by the team’s medical staff to come in

shorter increments due to his arthritic right knee. He missed four

recent games with a sore knee, but played 32 minutes against the

Kings in his second game back, making 6-of-14 shots and adding five

rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“All my life I’ve been watching him play and to have the

opportunity to play him was fun,” said Kings guard Sergio

Rodriguez, who was matched up against Iverson at times. “He showed

that he can still play and he can play well. He looked great.”

Iverson was at his best in the third quarter, when the 76ers

took the lead for good and went into the fourth ahead 79-76. He had

11 points, scoring on a variety of shots, including a 3-pointer

that put Philadelphia in front 72-70.

“It’s important for me to do whatever I can to help the guys

and give them confidence that we can win games,” Iverson said. “I

was telling them when we were down 13 in the first quarter to stay

with it, and make them believe we could come back.” Even with

Iverson on the bench for less than five minutes in the fourth

quarter, that confidence was evident. The 76ers spread the court,

moved the ball effectively, and repeatedly made perimeter shots

when they built the lead to double digits in putting together

back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 30-31.

Rodney Carney and Elton Brand scored 14 points apiece for the

76ers. who connected on 9-of-16 3-pointers.

“Allen gives us another dimension, guys are really playing off

him,” 76ers coach Eddie Jordan said. “Lou Williams got it going,

and Carney came off the bench and did a great job. All our guys

played well in their roles.”

Donte Greene and Omri Casspi each scored 21 points for the

Kings, who have lost three of their last four home games. But

unlike the previous losses, overtime affairs to Cleveland the

Lakers, this loss came against a team that entered the game with

only eight wins. Jason Thompson had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and

Rodriguez also scored 15 points.

“We were ripe to be picked off tonight and we need to learn

that we are not as good as people say we are,” said Kings coach

Paul Westphal, whose team defeated Denver on Monday. “Sometimes

you have to not only bounce back from tough losses but you have to

bounce back from big wins.”

The Kings played their second straight game without rookie guard

Tyreke Evans, who is nursing a sore ankle and is day to day. Beno

Udrih played a rare poor game in his place, shooting 3 of 11,

scoring nine points, and committing three turnovers.

“Tyreke is a big piece of our team and he’s been showing that

the whole year,” Udrih said. “But we can’t feel sorry for

ourselves. Injuries are a part of the game and you deal with

it.”

Carney opened the fourth quarter with a pair of 3-pointers, and

a jumper by Williams gave the 76ers a 90-81 advantage with 9:40

remaining. With the Kings missing open looks throughout the period,

the 76ers’ lead grew to 107-95 when Iguodala made a follow shot

with 3:34 left.

The Kings squandered an 11-point lead after one quarter and were

outscored 33-22 in the second. The aggressive inside play of Brand,

who scored 11 points, helped fuel the 76ers’ comeback. Casspi had

11 points for the Kings.

NOTES: In the offseason, Jordan was an early candidate for the

Kings head coaching job, but took the offer from Philadelphia

instead of waiting for the Kings to end their search, which

resulted in the hiring of Westphal. … Carney scored 12 points in

his first 10 minutes off the bench, all of them coming via four

3-pointers. … Iverson entered the game 1 for 3 this season in

3-point attempts, but made both attempts against the Kings.