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Harpring turns his ankle, is 'doubtful' for Sunday

PHILADELPHIA — On the same night Calbert Cheaney returned to the Jazz lineup, fellow starter Matt Harpring exited early.

Harpring sprained his right ankle in the second quarter of Utah's 104-83 loss at Philadelphia on Friday night.

He did return briefly after sustaining the injury, which apparently occurred when he landed on teammate Karl Malone's foot during a rebound attempt. But Harpring did not return for the second half.

X-rays of the joint proved negative for any sort of bone break, but the Jazz did declare their starting small forward "doubtful" for Sunday's trip-ending game at New Jersey.

Reserve swingman Andrei Kirilenko started Friday's second half in place of ex-Sixer Harpring, who was booed heartily in his first regular-season return to Philadelphia since signing with Utah as a free agent last offseason.

Harpring, who would not talk to media members at Friday's morning shootaround, did not make himself available for talk Friday night, either.

Cheaney, meanwhile, shot 5-of-5 from the field in 21 minutes during his first game back after missing Wednesday's loss at Minnesota due to a stomach virus.

The Jazz's starting shooting guard said he still was a bit drained but that he felt much better after undergoing an intravenous injection of replacement fluids Wednesday night.

ENJOYMENT: After beating the Jazz for just the second time in his career, 76ers star Allen Iverson savored the moment.

"Just beating the team the way we did tonight makes me feel good," Iverson said after scoring a game-high 24 points, "because I know that is a tough team."

Philly's win Friday snapped a three-game losing streak against Utah.

MISC.: Sixers forward Keith Van Horn had 12 rebounds and 10 points, marking the former University of Utah star's team-leading 14th double-double of the season. . . . Jazz point John Stockton had no rebounds for the second straight game, leaving him still four shy of 4,000 for his career. . . . Philadelphia absentees included center Todd MacCulloch, who is battling a career-threatening neurological disorder, and forward Monty Williams, who is still rehabbing from knee surgery. . . . With the win, his 864th as an NBA head coach, Philly's Larry Brown ties Jack Ramsay for seventh place on the league's all-time coaching victories list.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com