When the game got close Friday night, the Philadelphia 76ers turned to their defense and Allen Iverson to put the game away.
Iverson scored 35 points and led a 16-0 surge in the second half that sent the 76ers over the winless Chicago Bulls 92-86 Friday night.
"From late in the third quarter until about six or seven minutes left in the fourth we were about as good defensively as we've been," Philadelphia coach Larry Brown said.
"I'm not happy with the loss but this is by far the best we have played all year," Bulls coach Tim Floyd said.
Iverson shot 9-for-24 from the field and 16-of-23 from the foul line. He scored 14 points in the third quarter, including nine during an 11-0 run that closed the period.
The Sixers scored the first five points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a spectacular cross-over move by Iverson that led to an open jumper.
"When (Iverson) gets it going, nobody can guard him," Floyd said. "It takes a village."
Hersey Hawkins, who played for the 76ers from 1989-1993, had a season-high 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting for the Bulls. But he couldn't keep up with the younger and faster Iverson.
"I was on him a couple of times and I said, slow down man, slow down," Hawkins said. "He's a great player."
George Lynch had 15 points and rookie Todd McCullough had 10 for Philadelphia.
The Sixers had 13 turnovers in the first half and trailed 50-47. But they outscored the Bulls 26-13 in the third quarter as Chicago made only six of 9 shots and had nine turnovers.
"We picked up our defensive intensity," 76ers guard Aaron McKie said. "When we do that good things start to happen."
Billy Owens had a three-point play and Stanley Roberts, playing in his first game of the season, added a layup as the Sixers opened an 18-point in the fourth quarter.
Behind Hawkins and Brand, the Bulls pulled within 88-84 with 59 seconds remaining. Iverson made three of four foul shots in the final 41 seconds to seal the victory.
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