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Iverson's tough runner lifts Sixers over Magic

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:14 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Kyle Korver made some sweet shots. Allen Iverson made a really tough one.

Iverson scored 39 points, including a difficult running banker with 2.2 seconds remaining, to lift the hot-shooting Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-103 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Korver scored 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting off the bench for Philadelphia, which shot 56 percent (37-of-66) and improved to 2-0 for the first time in six years.

Iverson fell one point shy of his 75th career 40-point game. The superstar guard made 15-of-25 shots, handed out 10 assists and made a series of big plays down the stretch.

"Allen Iverson made incredible shots the whole night," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said.

"We gave Iverson a strong hand all night long," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "He had another huge game."

After a 7-0 spurt had given Orlando a 99-97 lead, Iverson threw in a scoop shot off the backboard to tie it with 2:42 to go. Two free throws each from Iverson and Chris Webber gave Philadelphia a 103-99 advantage in the final minute.

A dunk by a surprisingly quiet Dwight Howard and a driving bank shot by Grant Hill pulled the Magic into a tie with 12 seconds to play and set the stage for Iverson.

Working against Keyon Dooling, the four-time scoring champion dribbled right and elevated from outside the lane. He threw up a one-handed shot on the move that cleared the outstretched arms of Dooling and the 6-11 Howard, banking in off the glass.

"We had Kyle on that side, so they weren't going to leave off Kyle," Iverson said. "But if they did leave off of him to help on me, then Kyle would have had the shot. I just tried to get something off of the glass. I wanted to get a lot closer than what I did, but I just took what the defense gave me."

"I thought that was way short," Korver said. "I don't know how that ball went in the basket. That is what he has done for 11 years."

Grant Hill, who scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, had a chance to tie it but was short with a pull-up 15-footer at the buzzer.

"I knew the rookie (Rodney Carney) was on me (and) probably would go for the ball fake," Grant Hill said. "Wish I could have it again. It was good. Coach drew up a good play and I just missed it."

Webber and Andre Iguodala scored 11 points each for the Sixers, who won despite a 44-22 deficit on the backboards. Philadelphia last won its first two games in 2000, when it started 10-0 en route to the NBA Finals.

"We're not going to be perfect rebounding the ball on the defensive end," Cheeks said. "But at certain times of the game, we got the stops we needed."

Hedo Turkoglu scored 15 points and Howard and Jameer Nelson added 14 apiece for the Magic, who shot 53 percent (39-of-73) but hurt themselves with 23 turnovers. Six were committed by Howard, who scored 27 points in Wednesday's win over Chicago.

"They took the ball out of his hands," Brian Hill said. "For big guys, that's what's going to happen."

One of the best pure shooters in the NBA, Korver was quiet in the season opener but came alive Friday. He made his first six shots and sank 4-of-4 3-pointers, including two early in the fourth quarter that helped Philadelphia open a 96-90 lead.

"I got a few great screen to start off and got some wide-open shots," Korver said. "I kind of got into a little bit of a roll I guess. It felt good."

"You can tell he likes the new basketball," Iverson said. "That was my whole thing. If Kyle like the new basketball, then I will just deal with it and stop talking about getting rid of it. That is why I call him 'Sniper.' He proved it tonight."

Trailing most of the first half, the Magic used a 13-2 run capped by a pair of hoops from Darko Milicic to take a 52-48 lead. Iverson sank a 3-pointer and found Samuel Dalembert with a lob for a dunk before intermission.

Philadelphia made its first eight shots of the third quarter - four by Iverson - and opened a 69-60 advantage. But the Sixers suddenly went cold, and a three-point play by Milicic gave the Magic a 73-72 edge.

The Magic, who had won 13 of their last 14 home games dating to last season, were without backup point guard Carlos Arroyo (hamstring).

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