The Sixers have been fairing okay without Allen Iverson. That is to say they haven't lost 11 in a row. Tonight the Sixers will share the court with Iverson, but they no longer have to share the ball. Philly fans surely won't be extremely concerned with whether the Sixers win against their former franchise player, but rather how Iverson and his former team treat each other. Joe Juliano points out that Mo and Allen haven't spoken since that fateful day Cheeks sent The Answer home from practice for the final time. So Mo, will you talk to Iverson?
"I'll see how it goes," Cheeks said yesterday. "If I see him, I'll reach out."
To say that it will be odd for Cheeks and the Sixers - not to
mention people watching on television in the Philadelphia area - to see
Iverson in another uniform is an understatement. Even Cheeks agrees.
"Very obviously, it's going to be different," the coach said.
If you see him? I'm pretty sure you're playing the Nuggets -- you're going to see him. It's well documented that Cheeks is a class guy and that Iverson took advantage of his nice guy demeanor. Let's hope Mo can win the battle on the court tonight. Cheeks goes on to say the way his relationship ended with the former star player was "unfortunate."
This is the first Sixers game in quite a while you may not want to miss. 9:00 start time on Comcast.
In other Sixers news, Kyle Korver is slightly upset about no longer getting to play with synthetic balls.
>>Tonight, 76ers face Iverson for 1st Time [Inquirer]
>>Kyle Korver regrets losing unpopular synthetic ball [Inquirer]
MILWAUKEE -- DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points and the Toronto Raptors squandered a 25-point lead late in the third quarter before holding on for a 92-89 victory Thursday night over the Milwaukee Bucks to take their first-round playoff series in six games.
Cory Joseph had five points in a 9-0 run in the final 2 minutes, including a 3-pointer with 1:27 left, to help stave off the pesky Bucks.
The Raptors move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in a series that starts Monday. They'll need to work on finishing off opponents in the second half.
Jason Terry's 3 with 3:06 left gave the Bucks an 80-78 lead, completing an unlikely comeback from the 25-point deficit with 5:16 left in the third quarter. The Raptors looked as if they were on cruise control after DeMarre Carroll's 3 gave them the 71-46 advantage.
Giannis Antetokounmpo spearheaded the second-half rally for Milwaukee. He had 34 points.
But the Bucks finished one comeback short.
The furious effort appeared to sap the energy of the young Bucks. Even Antetokounmpo, a renowned gym rat, looked tired with his hands on hips as he caught his breath during fourth-quarter breaks. He played 47 minutes.
Antetokounmpo finished 13 of 23 from the field but was 2 of 6 in the fourth.
The Raptors could finally breathe easy after DeRozan went 2 of 2 from the foul line with 3.1 seconds to play for a three-point lead. Tony Snell's inbounds pass on the ensuing possession was intercepted by DeRozan (see full recap).
WASHINGTON -- Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds, Nick Bonino had the winner in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
In a high-profile showdown of Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Washington's captain also scored and Evgeny Kuznetsov had the goal that tied it in the third. But Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the third period to help Pittsburgh to the win.
Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. He beat Braden Holtby with his first two shots of the second period.
Holtby stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced but allowed Bonino's goal with 7:24 left.
Game 2 is Saturday night (see full recap).
Karlsson helps Senators edge Rangers 2-1 in Game 1
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Erik Karlsson scored on a bad-angle shot with 4:11 left in the third period, sending the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the opener of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist from just above the goal line. The shot pinged off Rangers center Derek Stepan before going into the net.
It was Karlsson's first goal and seventh point of the playoffs. The 26-year-old defenseman, who has been playing with a foot injury, also logged more than 28 minutes in the win.
Game 2 is Saturday.
Ryan McDonagh scored for New York, and Lundqvist finished with 41 saves.
Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa, which eliminated Boston in six games in the first round (see full recap).