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An answer for Kobe’s 56? Iverson one-ups with 58

SHARE An answer for Kobe’s 56? Iverson one-ups with 58

Allen Iverson denied he wanted to respond to Kobe Bryant's 56-point night with a big game of his own. Coach Larry Brown didn't quite believe his star guard.

Iverson scored a career-high 58 points, the most in the NBA in almost two years and the fourth-highest total in team history, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Houston 112-106 in overtime Tuesday night.

"Allen's performance was as good as you can see," Brown said.

"You knew when Kobe got 56, he'd be looking to have a big game."

But Iverson said Bryant wasn't on his mind.

"I've won scoring titles, I've scored 50 points before and I have won individual awards," he said. "I haven't won a championship, and that is the only thing I am concerned about."

Iverson shot 21-of-42 and made all 14 of his free throws for his seventh 50-point game, including two in the playoffs. It was the fifth 50-point game in the NBA this season, coming one night after Bryant scored 56 in just three quarters for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Iverson's previous career-high was 54, accomplished twice, including once in the playoffs against Toronto last season. The franchise record is 68 points by Wilt Chamberlain in 1967.

"I just want the ball when I'm in a groove like that," said Iverson, who has been criticized for shooting too much by Brown and others.

The defending Eastern Conference champions have won five of seven since losing 13 of 18. The Rockets have lost 20 of 25.

Cuttino Mobley scored 25 points, Kenny Thomas 20 and Eddie Griffin 17 for the Rockets.

Speedy Claxton scored 16 points and Dikembe Mutombo grabbed 13 rebounds for the Sixers, who played with four guards on the floor at times.

KINGS 108, CAVALIERS 102: Chris Webber had 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Peja Stojakovic had 36 points as Sacramento won its 14th straight game at Arco Arena and improved to an NBA-best 21-1 at home.

Webber took over in the fourth, scoring 11 points in a five-minute span as Sacramento finished a 29-12 run.

With the win, the Kings reclaimed a share of the Pacific Division lead with the Los Angeles Lakers. Sacramento scored 35 points in the fourth quarter after scoring just 17 in the second period.

Lamond Murray led Cleveland with 22 points, while Cavs teammate Andre Miller finished with 17 points and 13 assists.

TIMBERWOLVES 97, CLIPPERS 83: Wally Szczerbiak scored 21 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 and Joe Smith had 17 in his first game since Dec. 28 for Minnesota, whose winning streak is now the second-longest of the team's 13-year history.

The Timberwolves reeled off 11 consecutive victories last season from Jan. 17-Feb. 7.

"We don't talk about it too much," Minnesota guard Chauncey Billups said. "We have a lot of superstitious players and coaches."

BUCKS 106, PACERS 102: Tim Thomas scored 25 points and Sam Cassell and Ray Allen each had 23 for Milwaukee at Indiana, but Bucks coach George Karl said selfish play by Cassell and Allen nearly cost them a game they led by 15 points early in the fourth quarter.

"Our leadership from Sam and Ray has been awful. They are being selfish," Karl said. "They don't execute. They don't pass the ball."

Milwaukee held a 104-102 lead when Jalen Rose drove the lane and was fouled by Thomas with 3.2 seconds to go. Rose's first free throw rattled in and out, and the Bucks grabbed the rebound off the ensuing intentional miss to clinch the win.

Rose led the Pacers with 26 points, and Reggie Miller added 24 before he was ejected.

MAVERICKS 116, HAWKS 107: Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points and Dallas tied a franchise record with 18 3-pointers at Atlanta.

Atlanta got a career-best 46 points from Jason Terry, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Hawks' fourth straight loss.

Nowitzki eclipsed his regular-season high of 38 points, though he fell short of a 42-point effort in a playoff game at San Antonio last season. Nowitzki was 6-of-15 from 3-point range.

Steve Nash added 29 points, making five 3s.

SPURS 96, WIZARDS 91: Tim Duncan came back from a 1-for-12 start to score 16 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for visiting San Antonio.

After Washington closed to 93-91 on Hubert Davis' 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left, Antonio Daniels hit the second of two free throws for a 94-91 lead with 8.6 seconds remaining.

Michael Jordan passed the ball after being double-teamed, and Chris Whitney missed a game-tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining. Duncan added a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left.

RAPTORS 92, PISTONS 90: Vince Carter scored 24 points, including a game-tying dunk with 2:26 remaining and two go-ahead free throws with 13.4 seconds left, as Toronto won at Detroit.

Jerry Stackhouse scored a season-high 38 for the Pistons, losers of 13 of 16. Detroit's Cliff Robinson missed a long shot as time ran out.HORNETS 94, BULLS 86: David Wesley tied his season-high with 26 points and Baron Davis added 16 points and 11 assists.

Marcus Fizer made things interesting in the last minute, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to pull Chicago to 90-86 with 17 seconds left. But Wesley, who had 11 points in the fourth quarter, made four free throws to seal the victory.

Ron Artest led the Bulls with 22 points.

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