PHI Wins series 4-2
48-34, 23-18 away
107
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PHI25273124107
NO31243216103
47-35, 29-12 home
103

Iverson clutch down stretch to finish Hornets

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- It turned out Allen Iverson didn't need as

much help as coach Larry Brown thought.

Keith Van Horn had 18 points and 18 rebounds Friday.
Keith Van Horn had 18 points and 18 rebounds Friday.

Iverson capped a 45-point performance by scoring Philadelphia's

final six points -- including a key straightaway bank shot with 10

seconds left -- as the 76ers eliminated the New Orleans Hornets with

a 107-103 victory Friday night.

Iverson's second-best offensive showing of the series came one

game after coach Larry Brown said Iverson's teammates appeared too

hesitant to shoot big shots and relieve some of the pressure on the

Sixers' leading scorer.

"After that first game I had 55 points and heard everybody

talking about what they were doing against me, all I thought about

is keep fighting and something positive will come out of it," said

Iverson, who was held to 30 points or less in Games 2 through 5 --

two of which the Hornets won.

"Obviously, I wasn't dead in the water. It's just not as easy

as people think to score 55 points night in and night out."

Several other Sixers had solid games as the Sixers won on the

road for the second time in the series. Keith Van Horn had 18

points and 18 rebounds, Derrick Coleman had 16 points and Kenny

Thomas 10.

Brown told his players to give Van Horn a standing ovation when

he came into the locker room after the game.

"I wasn't going to tell him because I've been on his case so

badly," Brown said. "You play against a team like that's got so

many athletic long guys that rebound the ball effectively, and he

comes up with 18 rebounds in a game like this."

Jamal Mashburn, playing his second game with a chipped bone in

his right middle finger, scored 36 to lead New Orleans. The Hornets

were hurt by 14-for-23 free throw shooting, missing five of eight

in the final period.

"It was a fun game to play in. They just had an exceptional

player out there (in Iverson) -- a guy who can create his own

shots," Mashburn said.

Baron Davis added 21 points and 11 assists for New Orleans but

missed substantial chunks of time because of foul trouble. David

Wesley added 19 points, but fouled out while struggling to guard

Iverson.

"In the fourth quarter we couldn't get anything going. They

stepped their defense up and we had missed layups, missed free

throws, and you can't win like that, not against this team," Davis

said. "Their guys stepped up and some of us didn't."

Iverson had 15 points in the fourth quarter.

With the game tied at 101 with 1:43 left, Snow found Iverson

open in the corner for a jumper that gave Philadelphia the lead for

good.

At the other end, Robert Traylor rebounded Davis' miss close to

the basket but couldn't convert the putback. Snow missed a jumper

with 38 seconds left, and Van Horn grabbed his final rebound to

allow Philadelphia to retain possession.

Iverson, guarded closely by Davis, then knocked in a jumper off

the glass for a 105-101 lead.

"The shot Iverson hit at the end was a miraculous shot,"

Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "A big-time player stepped up."

Davis made a layup with 3 seconds left, but Philadelphia

inbounded to Iverson, who was fouled and made both free throws to

lock up the victory.

The 76ers advanced to play the winner of the Orlando-Detroit

series, which is tied 3-3 with Game 7 set for Sunday afternoon.

The Hornets had the benefit of Philadelphia being over the foul

limit with 10 minutes left, but couldn't take advantage.

Philadelphia, which trailed by as many as 13 early on, didn't

take its first lead until early in the third quarter. Coleman, who

would score 11 in the period, started the second half with a pair

of strong inside baskets to put the Sixers ahead 56-55.

Then Mashburn got hot, scoring 21 third-quarter points, mostly

on turnaround jumpers and fadeaways, to put the Hornets ahead 87-83

heading into the final period.

Carrying momentum from their Game 5 victory and energized by a

revved-up home crowd, the Hornets jumped out to a 15-2 lead by

scoring on seven of their first eight possessions. Mashburn started

the Hornets off with a short jumper and a straightaway 3 on the

next possession.

Iverson then drew Philadelphia to 27-22 with a pair of jumpers

and three 3-pointers. He scored 14 in the quarter, which ended with

the Hornets leading 31-25.

New Orleans had the lead up to 53-41 in the second quarter after

Jamaal Magliore hit a short running hook in the lane. Philadelphia

responded with an 11-2 run to close the half, with Iverson ending

it by stealing the ball from Mashburn and running the floor for an

uncontested layup with less than a second left, leaving the score

55-52.

Game notes

Iverson has scored 20 or more points in 18 straight playoff

appearances, including 11 with 30 or more. ... The

standing-room-only crowd of 18,570 was the largest of the Hornets'

first season in New Orleans. ... Magloire said he has yet to make

up his mind about playing for Canada in the Olympic qualifying

tourney this summer. Magloire, who started every game this season

at center, is a restricted free agent. ... As they have throughout

the playoffs, 76ers staff told reporters Friday to ask Iverson

"basketball questions only," meaning no questions about either

the recent shooting of his friend -- in which police say Iverson may

have been a target -- or Thursday's hit-and-run involving Iverson's

Mercedes-Benz.