With Vin Baker injured, Gary Payton and Detlef Schrempf took over for the Seattle SuperSonics.
Payton had 26 points and eight assists and Schrempf had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Sonics slowed Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers 92-76 Monday night.
Baker is out with torn ligament in his right thumb. Without him, the Sonics still beat Philadelphia for the 12th straight time.
"We have lost a great player who was just starting to play his best basketball, so we really are going to have to scrap and gamble more on defense to make up for it," Sonics coach Paul Westphal said.
The Sonics held Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, to 14 points. He did not play the last 15 minutes because of a split lower lip he got in the third period.
Iverson shot 4-for-13 from the field and had four turnovers in 28 minutes. His point total equaled a season-low.
"We tried to hit him as much as possible when he was coming off screens," Schrempf said about Seattle's defense on Iverson.
Schrempf played the power forward with Baker out, and said the smaller Sonics will have to play quicker to be successful.
"We're not as big as most teams, so we'll have to double-team more and look for opportunities to run."
Schrempf had four assists and three steals for the Sonics.
Iverson scored all of his points in the first half. Hersey Hawkins had the task of checking Iverson and contained him with lots of help.
"Our game plan was to make everybody else but Iverson shoot the ball," Olden Polynice said. "It worked."
Dale Ellis added 11 off the bench for Seattle and Polynice grabbed 10 rebounds.
76ers coach Larry Brown was unhappy with his team's performance.
"When things went bad, we just all direction and purpose," Brown said. "The more we struggled the more they tuned up the defensive pressure."
The Sonics forced 17 turnovers and held Philadelphia to 37 percent shooting.
Payton had 13 of his points in the third period when the Sonics opened up a commanding lead.
Back-to-back 3-point plays by Payton put Seattle up 61-45 with 4:11 left in the third period. After a free throw by Geiger, Payton hit a 3-point shot.
The Sonics' pressure defense slowed the 76ers offense to a walk in the third period. Iverson missed all four of his shots and turned the ball over three times. At one juncture, the 76ers turned the ball over four times in five possessions.
Schrempf's two free throws gave the Sonics a 43-35 lead with 34.4 seconds left in the first half. Payton then stole the ball from Iverson and scored for a 45-35 lead over the 76ers. Schrempf had 12 points and seven rebounds and Payton had 11 and six assists for the Sonics.
Iverson had 14 points in the first half. Notes: The Sonics bench outscored the 76ers 14-5 in the opening half. ... Iverson went to the Philadelphia locker room with 2:58 in the third quarter. ... Drew Barry had season highs with eight points and four assists. ... The 76ers lead the league in steals averaging more than 11 per game. They had eight against Seattle.
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