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Iverson on the offense; Clippers finally win one

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76ers 87, Knicks 80

Allen Iverson was unstoppable in the second half against the NBA's stingiest team, and the Los Angeles Clippers returned from a road trip with less baggage.

Iverson, dogged by questions about his run-in with Indiana fans earlier in the week, scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks 87-80 Thursday night.

"You can contain him, but you can't stop him," Tyrone Hill said of Iverson. "He has never met his match."

The Sixers, who had a 13-game road winning streak snapped Tuesday in Toronto, moved 7 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Knicks in the Atlantic Division with Thursday's victory. Philadelphia is 21-5 on the road, surpassing last season's win total.

"This is the first real team I've been on in my life," said Iverson, who shot 11-for-30 and had eight assists. "There are no egos, nobody cares who's shooting the ball, who has the name, who's the All-Star. It's all about one common goal: bringing a championship to Philadelphia."

Iverson stood by his account of Sunday's events when he was heard on NBC's broadcast in Indiana calling a fan a derogatory term for gays. He said he was responding to a fan's racial slur.

The Pacers said there was no evidence of a racial slur from fans.

"It was blown out of proportion because people heard me responding back," Iverson said. "But if you listen, you'll hear things way worse than what I said. But I'm Allen Iverson and I have an 'X' on my chest. I handled it the wrong way. I shouldn't have yelled back."

In Houston, the Clippers matched up well against the Rockets.

Lamar Odom scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half as the Clippers ended a seven-game losing streak.

The Clippers beat the Rockets for the second time this season and won for the first time in Houston since Jan. 4, 1997. They also snapped a five-game road losing streak.

The Rockets lost their second straight and dropped their fifth decision in seven games.

TRAIL BLAZERS 100, SUNS 92: Steve Smith scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Portland won for the fourth time in five games. Damon Stoudamire had 17 points and 10 assists as the host Blazers overcame the ejection of All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace and a season-high 42-point performance by the Suns' Clifford Robinson.

SUPERSONICS 97, BULLS 91: Vin Baker scored 22 points and Brent Barry had 11 assists for short-handed Seattle, which has won six of seven games. Emanual Davis added 19 points for the Sonics, who put the game away in the last 20 seconds on free throws by Rashard Lewis and Desmond Mason.

TIMBERWOLVES 90, CAVALIERS 81: Terrell Brandon matched a season-high with 27 points as Minnesota extended its club-record winning streak to nine games with a victory at Cleveland. Kevin Garnett scored 18 points as Minnesota held its opponent under 100 points for the eighth time in nine games.

MAVERICKS 95, HEAT 91 (OT): Michael Finley scored 26 points as host Dallas ended nearly a decade of domination by Miami. The Mavericks had lost 16 straight to the Heat since an overtime victory in December 1991.