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Blazers Dominate Sixers In 4th


Greg Anthony had just one assignment in the fourth quarter: Keep Allen Iverson from taking over the game.

Anthony did his part, shutting down the NBA's leading scorer and helping the Portland Trail Blazers pull away from the 76ers for a 91-75 victory Sunday night.

"We just kept pressuring them and pushing them and hoping they would crack," said Anthony, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period and twice stripped Iverson of the ball. "We upped the ante and started getting after (Iverson), getting in his face. And it changed what they were doing."

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  • Rasheed Wallace scored 14 of his season-high 26 points in the fourth, with many baskets coming in transition because of the strong defensive play of Anthony and Stacey Augmon.

    Iverson, coming off performances of 39 and 41 points in wins over Indiana and the Lakers, scored 24 but had just 11 after the first quarter. In the final three periods, he made only three of 13 shots.

    Iverson was playing with a bruised right quadriceps, and was limping in the locker room after the game. But he didn't use the injury as an excuse.

    "If it was that bad, I wouldn't have played," he said. On his poor second-half performance, he added: "The flow of the game changed. As far as my game, I probably got more open shots in the second half than I did in the first. I just didn't knock them down."

    Portland (20-5) reclaimed the NBA's best record from Utah and improved to 11-1 at home, tied with the Jazz for the best home mark in the league.

    "It feels good, but we're only halfway through," Blazers forward Brian Grant said. "We have 25 more and we have to keep our composure. But we're playing well together. That's the key."

    Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy sat starting guard Damon Stoudamire for the entire fourth quarter and let Anthony and Augmon chas after Iverson.

    With Portland ahead 69-63, Anthony took the ball away from Iverson, who fell to the floor after getting poked in the eye. After Anthony's layup, Iverson shook it off and hit two free throws and a jumper to pull the Sixers to 72-69 with 7:42 to go.

    The Blazers then used an 18-1 run to turn the game into a rout at 90-70. Anthony had eight points during the run and Wallace had five.

    On another of his four steals in the period, Anthony stripped Eric Snow of the ball and passed to Jim Jackson for a dunk that made it 83-70 with 5:19 to go. Jackson then lobbed to Wallace for a slam to make it a 15-point lead with 4:41 left.

    Augmon, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals, also blocked a 3-point shot by Iverson during the burst, leading to a layup by Anthony.

    "A guy like Iverson, you can't shut him down," Wallace said. "It has to be a team effort. We have a lot of pride in our defense. We just got after him."

    Matt Geiger added 19 points for the Sixers, who shot just 35 percent.

    Portland took a 60-59 lead into the fourth quarter after a horrendously played third. The teams shot a combined 12-of-43 (28 percent) and committed 10 turnovers. During one possession, Philly missed five straight shots.

    Iverson scored 13 in the first quarter, and ended the period with a wicked crossover move on Anthony for a jumper that gave the Sixers a 29-21 lead.

    Walt Williams had nine of his 11 points in the second quarter as the Blazers brought in mostly their second team and held the 76ers to 32 percent shooting in the quarter. Still, a running layup by Matt Geiger and a layup by Tyrone Hill gave Philadelphia a 45-44 lead at the break.

    Notes: Isaiah Rider returned from a one-game suspension by the NBA for kneeing and shoving Sacramento's Jon Barry in the face last Thursday. Rider scored six points. ... It was Dunleavy's 45th birthday. ... The Sixers were playing the second of four straight Western Conference teams. They finish their trip with Seattle and Vancouver. Portland played the last of its six Eastern teams.

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