Iverson Helps 76ers Advance
It turned out Allen Iverson didn’t need as much help as Coach Larry Brown thought.
Iverson capped a 45-point performance by scoring Philadelphia’s final six points -- including a key straightaway bank shot with 10 seconds left -- as the 76ers eliminated the New Orleans Hornets from the Eastern Conference playoffs in six games with a 107-103 victory Friday night at New Orleans.
Iverson’s second-best offensive showing of the series came one game after Brown said Iverson’s teammates appeared hesitant to shoot big shots and relieve some of the pressure on the 76ers’ leading scorer.
Several 76ers had solid games -- Keith Van Horn with 18 points and 18 rebounds, and Derrick Coleman with 16 points.
Jamal Mashburn, playing his second game with a chipped bone in his right middle finger, scored 36 points for New Orleans.
Detroit 103, Orlando 88 -- Chauncey Billups scored 18 of his career-high 40 points in a decisive first quarter at Orlando, Fla., and the Pistons evened their first-round playoff series to set up a Game 7 Sunday in Detroit.
Billups made seven of 14 three-point shots, including all five attempts in the first quarter when the Pistons took a commanding lead.
Richard Hamilton had 22 points, and Ben Wallace had his fourth double-double of the series with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Wallace also blocked five shots.
By ending a 12-game road playoff losing streak, the Pistons moved one win away from becoming only the seventh team in NBA playoff history to avoid elimination after falling behind in games, 3-1.