The Post Up: Iverson Comes Home

by March 20, 2008

By: Holly MacKenzie

10 games played and the match up of the night in my mind was Philadelphia and Denver because the return of AI to Philly was fantastic. The game itself turned out to be a battle until the final buzzer, with Iverson missing a game-winning shot after dropping in 32 and 8 on the night.

The reaction the fans gave him was perfect. Allen Iverson is real. We all know this. Whatever he does or does not feel, think, want or do is real. After leaving Philadelphia for Denver, I was hoping that the fans would give him love and that he would get the ovation that he deserved. Wearing shoes with “THX PHILA” etched on them in blue, I was done when I saw him hop down and kiss the 76er’s logo on the hardwood during warmups.

When his name was called during the player intro’s, the fans didn’t hold back on showing their love and appreciation for the man who took them to the finals and carried them on his slim shoulders for years. With AI blowing kisses to the fans and pointing at each corner of the arena, I had chills. While he said in his post game that it almost got to him and it meant more than he could show, I was sitting down letting it all show as my tears were ones of pride for all that he has accomplished over his career. I’ve got crazy love for Iverson.

He gets it. Philadelphia was his first home, the home where he carved out his piece of history and his place among the greats. Regardless of where and when he finishes his career, you can bet on seeing his number “3” hanging high in the Wachovia center.

The Rockets were 22 up and now they are two down. New Orleans looked good last night, but the Rockets looked really bad in the second half of the game, scoring only 10 points in the fourth quarter.

I was really disappointed to see Raja Bell come down on KD’s foot after he hit a three-pointer. He was really disappointed as well and if you were watching the same brodacast that I was you could clearly hear him cursing out Durant’s foot. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for one of my favorite Suns. Raja’s been hit with the injury-bug hard and I know it kills a player like him to have to be on the bench.

The Nash to Amare, Amare behind the back pass to Shaq was really nice.

Andre Miller has been playing really well for the Sixers as of late and he was huge for them in the win last night. He doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he’s doing, but he is helping Iggy make this 76er team a fun one to watch.

Bron and the Cavs defeating the Pistons. It is going to be really interesting to see what happens if these two teams end up meeting in the playoffs.

Did everyone hear about Rip’s jersey in their game versus Denver? It had “HAMILTION” on the back and was worn for most of the first quarter before he switched it to one with the correct spelling. It would be asking too much for this to end up being a prank pulled by Sheed, right?

Washington with a huge win over the Magic. Career-night for Hedo on his birthday with 39, but Brendan Haywood (and foul trouble), held DH to only 3 points in the game. He nearly saved them in the end with his block on Caron, but Hedo came up short when it mattered most.

Best moment of the Magic/Wizards game was in DeShawn’s post game interview when he called Hedo, “Tito“, before correcting himself. That one had me cracking up.

NBATV says, “The Heat’s linup versus the Raptors one of the worst lineups in NBA history”. Enough said on the sorry Heat and their 54 point game. Ugh. Riley calling Daequan’s 3-19 night a “Michael Jordan night” was just weird and not funny. Great to see Chris Bosh back and looking good.

That put back dunk by Moon was a jaw dropper.

Vince was huge last night for the Nets, 39, 10 and 8. He was in the zone and loving it. Although they lost, Al Horford continues to be great for the Hawks with 20, 15 and 6. ROY? Yes. Joe Johnson’s heave at the end of the first was crazy too.

It’s Thursday which means, NBA on TNT. Boston @ Dallas and Lakers @ Utah. With a win the Jazz will set a franchise record for consecutive home victories so that is going to be a wild one. I’m going with Boston over Dallas and my Lakeshow over Utah.

One day after hearing Bynum will be out until the playoffs, they are now saying he could be back as soon as two weeks from this Sunday. So really, who knows. I’m not holding my breath.

New Orleans 90 Houston 69

In their first game since Boston ended their 22-game winning streak, the Houston Rockets now have a new streak going, a two-game losing one. Facing the New Orleans Hornets, the Rockets started the game out strong and went up by as many as 14 points in the second quarter before the Hornets closed out the half on a run to cut the lead to only five, 44-39 at the break. In the third after the Hornets pulled ahead with a three point lead, the Rockets went back up by five, but by the end of the quarter both teams were tied at 59. The fourth quarter belonged to New Orleans as they held the Rockets to only 10 points in the period while scoring 31 of their own. Bonzi Wells dropped in nine straight to start the quarter and finished by scoring 20 of his 25 points in the period. The game was a tough one for the Rockets as they shot only 34% from the floor while New Orleans finished at 44%. Besides Wells and his 25 off of the bench David West returned for the Hornets and had 23 points and 11 assists. Chris Paul scored 21 points to go with 10 assists and 4 steals, Peja Stojakovic scored 11 points and Tyson Chandler added 15 rebounds on a night where he was held to only 2 points. Tracy McGrady scored 15 points for Houston, but shot only 6-21, Shane Battier and Luis Scola each scored 14 points and Dikembe Mutombo added 10 points and 13 rebounds.Cleveland 89 Detroit 73

In a rematch of last years Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James again led his Cavaliers to the victory against Detroit, dropping them 89-73. After Detroit led 25-22 at the end of the first quarter things only went downhill for them as they would not top 20 points in any of the three remaining quarters. After managing only 13 points in the second, getting outscored by 10, they went into the break trailing 45-39. While they tried to trim the lead in the third they still went into the final period down by five. In those last 12 minutes the Cavaliers turned up their defense holding the Pistons to only 16 points and 40% shooting as they broke the game wide open in the final minutes. James finished with 30 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds and Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 off of the bench. Rasheed Wallace had 16 points for the Pistons while Richard Hamilton had 14 points and 7 assists, Tayshaun Prince scored 11 and Chauncey Billups added 10.

Washington 87 Orlando 86

One superstar back one, on the way and suddenly the Wizards have their swagger back. Last night that swagger was in full effect as they managed to overcome a 39-point effort from Hedo Turkoglu as they grabbed the one-point victory over the Orlando Magic. While Turkoglu had a career-night, Dwight Howard was held to only three points in the game and the Magic did not recover from his subpar effort. While Orlando led throughout the first half and went up by as many as 10, the Wizards turned things around in the third and went into the fourth quarter up by two, 67-65. While Washington would lead for most of the final period, a three-pointer from Keyon Dooling put the Magic up by one, 81-80. For the rest of the game the lead would see-saw between the two teams with Washington being called for a shot-clock violation on their final possession, holding on to a one-point lead and giving Orlando a chance to win it. On their final possession, Turkoglu drove and tossed up a layup, but fell short. Antawn Jamison finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds for Washington. DeShawn Stevenson scored 14 points, Brendan Haywood had 10 points and 11 rebounds and the great defense on Howard and Caron Butler scored 11 points and grabbed 9 boards. Besides Turkoglu’s 39 points, Keith Bogans scored 14 and Jameer Nelson 12 while Howard did finish with 14 rebounds in the game.

Philadelphia 115 Denver 113

In a game that was emotionally charged from the beginning, the Philadelphia 76er’s managed to hang on for the 115-113 victory against the Nuggets as Allen Iverson missed on a potential-game winning jumper. The 76er’s have been playing inspired ball over the past month and they continued last night, in a game that was a close battle throughout. The Nuggets went up by as many as 10, the largest lead of either team as they opened up the third quarter on a 10-0 run and outscored Philly 35-27 in the period. They led at the start of the fourth 93-92 and the final quarter was tight, with the 76er’s appearing to gain some separation, taking a seven point lead midway through the quarter. The Nuggets would quickly come back and tie the game at 110 on a dunk by Carmelo Anthony. With 1:17 left in the game, Andre Miller got the jumper and the foul and completed the three-point play to put Philly back up 113-110. With a minute remaining, Iverson responded by knocking down a three-pointer to tie the game back up at 113. After a miss by Miller, Thaddeus Young grabbed an offensive board and Samuel Dalembert scored to put Philadelphia up with 32 seconds left in the game. With seven seconds on the clock, Iverson would miss a jumper and Marcus Camby missed on the offensive putback as Andre Iguodala came away with the rebound as time expired. Miller finished with 28 points and 12 assists for Philadelphia while Iguodala added 21 points and 6 assists. Dalembert added 17 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and Willie Green scored 16. Iverson led the Nuggets with 32 points and 8 assists. Anthony finished with 26 points, Kenyon Martin scored 22 points and Anthony Carter added 12 points.

Phoenix 112 Seattle 98

Coming into the game last night the Suns had won five straight. They were confident they would be able to add to that streak in Seattle and they did, but they also lost Raja Bell to an ankle sprain in the third quarter after he came down on Kevin Durant’s foot. After the Suns led 64-55 at the half, things looked good in the third until Bell rose and knocked down a three-pointer, coming down with the ankle sprain. He writhed in pain, left the court immediately and did not return. The Suns went on to the victory without Bell, scoring eight straight after his three. The Sonics would not get any closer than eight points for the rest of the game. Amare Stoudemire had 26 points for the Suns, but also added 9 turnovers. Steve Nash finished with 23 points and 11 assists, Bell had 20 before he left the game and Leandro Barbosa added 19 off of the bench. The Sonics were led by Jeff Green’s 19 points while Kevin Durant scored 16 and Johan Petro added 14 points and 9 rebounds. Nick Collison had 10 points and 12 boards off of the bench and Earl Watson added 11 points.

Golden State 116 LA Clippers 100

After a disappointing loss to the Kings on Monday night, the Warriors came into Los Angeles focused for their match up with the Clippers. Holding onto the eight spot in the wild West, Golden State realizes they need to finish up the season strong if they want to ensure that they make the playoffs. Last night they took care of business against the Clippers in the opening quarter and rolled to the victory from there. After leading 37-26 at the end of the first quarter, Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis led the Warriors as they extended their lead to as many as 26 points after a 20-8 run in the fourth quarter. The Clippers never led in the contest and the gave up 51% shooting to the Warriors while finishing at 45% themselves. Jackson led the Warriors with 29 points on 10-18 shooting. Ellis had 28 points on 13-18 field goals and added 6 assists as well. Mickael Pietrus scored 15 points, Baron Davis had 14 points and Kelenna Azubuike and Al Harrington added 10 points apiece. The Clippers were led by rookie Al Thornton, who finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the game. Corey Maggette scored 21 points and Tim Thomas added 20 off of the bench.

New Jersey 125 Atlanta 117

In a match up between two teams battling for the eighth spot in the East, the combo of Vince Carter and Devin Harris allowed New Jersey to be victorious, downing Atlanta 125-117 last night. While they finished with the win, they trailed by as many as 13 early, after giving up a 35-point second quarter while managing only 23 points themselves. At the half, the Nets trailed, 70-60. The Hawks struggled in the second half and New Jersey upped their defense as Atlanta shot only 38% in the third and fourth quarters as Carter and Harris took advantage, leading the Nets on a 26-12 run to take control of the game heading into the fourth. In the final period the nets opened a seven point lead on a three-pointer by Marcus Williams and the Hawks did not seriously threaten the NJ lead the rest of the way through. Carter was fantastic for the Nets, finishing with a season0high 39 points on 17-26 field goals, to go along with 10 points and 8 assists. Richard Jefferson scored 33 points and Harris finished with 29 points and 9 assists while Bostjan Nachbar added 11 points. The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson’s 24 points while Al Horford continued his strong play finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists. Josh Smith also scored 20 points and Marvin Williams added 11 in the loss.

The Rest…

Al Jefferson led the TWolves in a come from behind win against the Grizzlies last night. He finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds as Minnesota came back from a 16-point deficit to take down Memphis 98-94. Randy Foye added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Rashad McCants scored 19 off of the bench and Ryan Gomes scored 14. Rudy Gay led Memphis in the loss, scoring 25 points. Mike Miller scored 20 points and grabbed 10 boards and Juan Carlos Navarro scored 11. The Raptors routed Miami 96-54 in Toronto. Not much to say about this, the Heat failed to reach 20 points in a quarter. Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker each had 14 points, Rasho Nesterovic added 12 points and Jose Calderon added 10 points and 10 assists. Chris Quinn had 14 for the Heat while Ricky Davis added 12 and Mark Blount scored 11. The Pacers knocked off Charlotte 102-95, as they used a strong third quarter to overcome a 13-point deficit. Flip Murray scored 22 points for the Pacers, Troy Murphy scored 18 points to go with 13 rebounds and Shawne Williams added 16. Jason Richardson scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished 8 assists in the loss for Charlotte, Matt Carroll scored 18 points and Gerald Wallace added 17.