NBA Greatest Duels: Allen Iverson vs. Vince Carter (2001) *51 vs 39
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Uploaded on Oct 24, 2011
Vince Carter lost his personal battle with fellow superstar Allen Iverson, but the Toronto Raptors won the war thanks to Keon Clark.
Clark had a season-high 23 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and sparked a furious second-half comeback as the Raptors overcame 51 points by Iverson in a rousing 110-106 overtime victory over the league-leading Philadelphia 76ers.
Toronto starting center Antonio Davis left the game in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle, forcing Clark to play a season-high 39 minutes off the bench. Acquired from Denver on January 12 in the deal that sent veteran forward Kevin Willis to the Nuggets, Clark quietly stole the show from two of the NBA's top scorers.
"We're excited about (Clark)," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We're trying to work in as quickly as we can, and show him something different every day, and he's just gobbling it up. He's excited about being here and I thought that was just an incredible job he did to step in for (Davis). We went to him several times because we wanted him to know we had confidence in him. He did a great job."
After helping Toronto eclipse a 20-point first-half deficit, Clark watched helplessly as Iverson fueled a 17-0 Philadelphia burst with 11 points, leaving the Raptors with an 89-78 deficit with 8:47 left in regulation.
But the 6-11 reserve pivotman responded with a free throw and a basket, pinned what appeared to be a sure layup by Iverson to the boards and sank a 15-footer that drew Toronto within 93-92 with 1:55 remaining.
"I feel like I'm at home on this team," Clark said. "The way I've been welcomed on this team, the way they help me on and off the court and the way the coaches tell me to take the big guys is something I never experienced before. They have faith in my abilities."
Carter, who had 39 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, made a follow shot and a 19-footer to cap the 18-4 run as Toronto took a 96-93 lead with 44 seconds left. But after six straight misses, Aaron McKie drilled his first shot of the second half, connecting on a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left that sent the game to overtime.
Carter opened the scoring in overtime by calmly sinking a 24-footer from the left wing. Clark added a basket and a free throw as the Raptors never trailed in the extra session, snapping Philadelphia's five-game winning streak while posting their sixth win in seven contests.
"I told (Iverson) in overtime `This is what they want to see, a great game.' It's just fun," Carter said. "These are the kind of games you love to be in. It's also good when you win of course."
The Sixers fell to 2-2 all-time when Iverson scores 50 or more points.
"It's a tough one because we know we had it," Iverson said. "Any game is tough to lose, especially when we had the lead that we had and we gave it up."
In a game full of prodigious runs, the Sixers appeared to run the Raptors out of the building early once Iverson decided to give his banged up left knee a go after missing Friday's game vs. New Jersey.
The 6-foot guard lit up the Raptors for 13 first-quarter points as Philadelphia established a season-high point total in the period, racing to a 38-22 lead. Iverson slowed down a bit in the second quarter, scoring eight points as Philadelphia took a commanding 60-44 advantage to intermission.
Neither Iverson nor his teammates appeared capable of hitting a shot early in the third quarter as the Sixers misfired on their first 11 shots.
Toronto took full advantage, reeling off 17 straight points -- 10 by Carter -- to take a 61-60 lead on Mark Jackson's basket with 6:40 left. Philadelphia center Theo Ratliff answered with a hook shot but the Raptors remained hot and opened a six-point bulge on rookie Morris Peterson's free throw with 1:26 remaining.
Iverson was up to the challenge, nailing a pair of 3-pointers, including one that beat the third-quarter buzzer to give Philadelphia a 79-78 lead entering the final 12 minutes.
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