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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- NEW YORK 20 17 18 23 78 PHILADELPHIA 29 23 22 19 93 FINAL


Allen Iverson scored 27 points and fueled every pivotal run as the Philadelphia 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 93-78 victory over the New York Knicks, who lost their fourth straight road game.

Iverson shot 9-of-16 from the field and added seven assists. He scored nine points in a first-quarter burst and eight more in a spurt that closed the second quarter and gave Philadelphia a 52-37 halftime lead.

Iverson keyed charges in the third and fourth quarters as the 76ers beat the Knicks for just the fourth time in their last 15 meetings. Jerry Stackhouse added 20 points for Philadelphia, which won for the first time in 10 games when held under 97 points.

"We wanted to keep the ball moving and find the open man," Iverson said. "I found the open man and gave them the ball and we hit the shots but tonight it was good defense."

Allan Houston scored a season-high 25 points for the Knicks, who have not won on the road since November 21st at Washington. New York got just 10 points from Patrick Ewing as it may have been looking ahead to its first meeting with defending NBA champion Chicago on Tuesday.

"I've done a good job for eight years," said Van Gundy, a longtime assistant before becoming the head coach. "This year I'm doing as bad a job as you can do with a team because we don't get it. We don't get what it takes to understand what we have to do to win in this league. We're no closer to understanding it than where we were at the same time last season.

"The bottom line is a coach's job is to get the players ready to play. But we constantly make the same mistakes, we take poor shots, we rely on the jumper to win or lose games. We have a good bunch of guys, the problem is my coaching. I'm disgraced myself with the way I'm coaching."

Ewing scored New York's first six points but managed just four thereafter. A basket by John Starks gave the Knicks a 16-11 lead with 5:32 to go in the first quarter before Iverson scored nine points and Stackhouse five in an 18-4 spurt that ended the quarter and gave the Sixers a 29-20 lead.

"The guard play was phenomenal," Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "When our guards play that well, we have a chance against anybody. Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse's defense was a big difference. Allen picked them up from the start. They had to start their offense so far out and with the clock running down. That makes it easier for everybody."

"Coach Brown says it starts with me and this game proves that he is right," Iverson said. "When guys see me pressuring the ball like that, it makes it hard for them to get into their play and it's so positive by me doing that."

Iverson and Stackhouse scored 11 points apiece in the period and Iverson stayed hot in the second quarter. His three-pointer made it 34-24 with 7:28 remaining and triggered a 21-10 spree that closed the half and gave Philadelphia a 52-37 lead. The 1997 Rookie of the Year had eight and Scott Williams added six in the burst.

The Sixers shot 57 percent (17-of-30) from the field in the first half while holding the Knicks to 38 percent (15-of-39).

"We took bad shots, we didn't run back on defense and we let the dribble break us down at will," Van Gundy said. "Teams that continue to make mistakes like that are far away from what they want to do and we're far away from where we should be."

Iverson scored six points and Stackhouse added five in the third quarter as Philadelphia led by as many as 24 points before settling for a 74-55 lead entering the final period. Iverson scored six points in a 12-6 spurt that opened the fourth quarter and the Sixers took their largest lead at 86-61 on a free throw by Doug Overton with 7:24 to play.

Jimmy Jackson scored 12 points and Williams eight for the 76ers, who shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68), including 4-of-6 from behind the arc. Clarence Weatherspoon grabbed nine rebounds.

Starks scored 14 points and Chris Mills added 10 for the Knicks, who shot under 35 percent (29-of-83) and held a 43-38 edge on the boards.

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