Allen Iverson and Vince Carter’s impact on the game can’t be measured. We all played with an arm sleeve. We all tried to fly. We all tuned in whenever they were playing. SLAM wouldn’t be here without their willingness to be part of our most iconic covers.
During the ’01 All-Star Weekend, Iverson and Carter helped to lead the East back from a 95-74 deficit with under nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The comeback was fueled by an unstoppable scoring binge from those two; a preview of what was to come in the playoffs.
Coming off that ridiculous ASG comeback, they matched up in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Two of the best, most exciting players in the world, on a national stage, about to go head-to-head. Iverson and the Sixers were coming off a series with the Pacers, in which Iverson averaged 31.5 ppg. Carter, meanwhile, had taken the Knicks to the full five games, putting up 22.8 points per in those contests.
Iverson and Carter were unguardable. Vince came out and stole Game 1 on the road with a 35 point, 7 assist performance. Then Iverson came back with a 54 point performance in Game 2. Carter answered with 50 in Game 3. With the series tied at 2-2, AI poured in 52 in Game 5, to which Carter responded to with a 39 point outing in Game 6.
Game 7 came down to the end. Iverson, playing the whole game and facing triple-teams, dished out a playoff career-best 16 assists. Carter struggled with his shot, winding up with 20 points. But he had the game’s final shot. Watch the video above to see what happened.