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Iverson Has All the Answers for 76ers

April 29, 2002|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson was a franchise player on Sunday.

After being challenged by his coach to take responsibility for winning and losing, Iverson scored 42 points, including 11 of Philadelphia's last 15, as the 76ers avoided elimination with a 108-103 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Game 4 of the best-of-five first-round series is Wednesday night at Philadelphia. Boston leads the defending Eastern Conference champions, 2-1.

"It's not about being a franchise player. All of my teammates are franchise players. Why not? I don't want to put myself above nobody on my squad," Iverson said two days after he deflected blame for Philadelphia's two losses by insisting he isn't a franchise player and shouldn't be singled out.

"I'm a teammate, I'm a player on the 76ers team and that's that. But I do feel like I'm the best player and I'm the captain, so responsibility does come with that."

Paul Pierce had 29 points for Boston and Antoine Walker added 27, including seven three-pointers in the first half. The Celtics made 15 of 30 three-point attempts.

Derrick Coleman blocked a three-pointer by Rodney Rogers and Pierce missed one in the final seconds, before Coleman got the rebound and clinched the victory with two free throws with 44.5 seconds left.

"He said he wasn't the whole team and I laughed," 76er Coach Larry Brown said of Iverson. "I talked to him and I knew he didn't mean it."

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