Stephon Marbury sat quietly on the bench, studying Allen Iverson's every move. Maybe next time he can do something about it.
Iverson, after getting a reprimand from his teammates for missing practice, had five of his 28 points in overtime as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied past the New Jersey Nets 100-93 Friday night.
Marbury didn't play because of a holdup in the trade that sent him from Minnesota to New Jersey. Though he's never played a minute for the Nets, Marbury put on a virtual one-man motivational show in the locker room after the game. He got in the faces of several of his new teammates, shouting words of encouragement.
"I want to win," said Marbury, who signed a $70.9 million contract earlier in the day. "When you win, you do what it takes. They don't look at it like I'm jumping down their throat. They know I just want to win."
On the bench in a gray suit, Marbury's expression never changed when Iverson hit a fadeaway 3-pointer to start overtime and faked out half the arena with a wicked crossover dribble and layup that gave Philadelphia a 94-87 lead.
That was about all the depleted Nets could stand. They dressed only eight players because Sam Cassell traded to the Bucks in the Marbury deal hadn't yet reported to Milwaukee. Jayson Williams fouled out with 6@1/2 minutes left in the fourth, leaving New Jersey with only seven players.
Marbury or no Marbury, the Nets lost their sixth straight and 12th in 13 games.
"I hope that was the last of that this season," Nets coach John Calipari said.
Keith Van Horn led the Nets with 25 points and 16 rebounds, but had only three points in the fourth quarter and no field goals in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Guarded by Theo Ratliff, Van Horn was 0-for-4 in OT and 0-for 3 in the fourth quarter. Ratliff had a season-high 23 points, 11 reboundand seven blocks including three crucial ones on Van Horn late in the fourth and in overtime.
"He knows what I'm going to do, I know what he's going to do," said Ratliff, who played against Van Horn in college. "I've been doing that to him for a while."
Ratliff's effort helped the Sixers get a victory they badly needed to keep from sinking further into controversy surrounding Iverson's unexcused absence from practice Thursday. The Sixers had two team meetings Friday and advised coach Larry Brown not to discipline Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer.
"It's important for family members to let bygones be bygones," Iverson said. "It's time to move on. I talked to them about what I thought about the situation, and they talked to me."
Iverson put Philadelphia ahead 87-85 with a driving layup against Van Horn and Scott Burrell with 38 seconds left in regulation his only two points in the fourth. Kendall Gill's jumper from the top of the key tied it at 87 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Sixers then cleared out for Iverson, whose driving, underhanded layup was blocked by Kerry Kittles for a shot-clock violation. With 1.1 seconds left, Van Horn missed a 26-footer to send it to overtime.
Iverson's 3-pointer, a turnaround jumper by George Lynch and a driving layup by Iverson quickly made it 94-87 in OT. The Nets stayed alive, getting as close as 96-93 with 31 seconds left before the Sixers finally finished them off.
Marbury is expected to make his Nets debut Sunday at Miami against Tim Hardaway in a nationally televised game. Elliot Perry, Chris Carr and Bill Curley are expected to do the same.
"I learned a lot tonight," Marbury said. "The team has to be a little more poised. ... Guys are trying to step in. They just don't know how to right now."
Marbury's agent, David Falk, had a courtside seat between Nets co-chairmen Lewis Katz and Finn Wentworth, and must have been dreaming about the dueling clients matchup that went unrequited Iverson vs. Marbury.
Effort-wise, there was plenty for Falk and Marbury to like in what can best be described as the retro version of the new-look Nets.
"We're going to Miami, and we're starting on a new team," Calipari said.
The Sixers emerged from a day of supposed cleansing and played one of their worst first halves of the season. Trailing 44-32 at halftime, they equalled their largest halftime deficit this year. Philadelphia's sickly 14-point effort in the first quarter was four more than their season low of 10 against Atlanta.
The Nets, seemingly revitalized by Marbury's mere presence on the bench, ran out to a 10-2 lead. Doug Overton, signed to a 10-day contract two days after being released by the Nets, hit two free throws to make it 20-8 New Jersey with 3:10 left in the first quarter.
Notes: The Sixers trailed by 13, 51-38, with 9:38 left in the third. Their comeback from 15-point deficit (27-12) was their biggest of the season. ... Iverson and Overton each had eight turnovers. ... The Sixers were without forward Tyrone Hill, acquired from Milwaukee in a separate deal that sent Tim Thomas to the Bucks. Hill wanted to go home to Milwaukee before reporting to the Sixers. Jerald Honeycutt, also acquired from the Bucks, was eligible to play but didn't. Hill is expected to play Monday at Orlando.
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