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Sixers fall without Iverson

The Baltimore Sun

PHILADELPHIA -- With Allen Iverson barred from the building and on his way out of Philadelphia, the short-handed 76ers couldn't overcome Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler in the Washington Wizards' 113-98 victory last night.

The Sixers caught a glimpse of life without Iverson, their former Most Valuable Player who led them to the NBA Finals in 2001. Iverson might have played his last game in Philadelphia after he asked to be traded this week. Sixers chairman Ed Snider said the team is prepared to trade Iverson, ending his 11-year stint with the team that made him the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft.

"At a certain point, you have to come to grips with the fact that it's not working," Snider said. "He wants out and we're ready to accommodate him."

In a surprising turn of events, Iverson was banished by the club and didn't play last night. Team president Billy King said the move was not a suspension and Iverson's future would be re-evaluated after tonight's game at Orlando.

"As hard as it is to admit, a change may be the best thing for everyone," Iverson said. "I hate admitting that because I love the guys on the team and the city of Philadelphia. I truly wanted to retire a 76er."

King and coach Maurice Cheeks said Iverson was sent home because he did not practice Thursday and left Wednesday's blowout loss at Chicago with back spasms. However, the move to banish the captain comes with Iverson's name swirling in heavy trade rumors.

The Sixers were up by 20 in the second quarter, but, as has been their habit the past two years under Cheeks, let the lead disintegrate. The Wizards got consecutive three-pointers from Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson midway through the third to spark an 18-2 run that put them up 73-65.

Arenas finished with 32 points, and Butler had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wizards to their second straight win on the road after dropping their first eight. They beat New York on Wednesday to start their dominance against the Atlantic Division's worst.

Iverson, who leads the league with 31.7 points per game, left Wednesday night's 121-94 loss at Chicago in the second half, complaining of the spasms, and did not practice Thursday.



WASHINGTON-Butler 7-16 6-6 20, Jamison 1-9 4-6 6, Thomas 3-5 3-4 9, Stevenson 7-10 0-0 17, Arenas 11-20 6-7 32, Hayes 2-5 0-0 4, Daniels 1-5 3-4 5, Haywood 5-6 2-3 12, Mason 3-4 0-0 8. Totals 40-80 24-30 113. PHILADELPHIA - Carney 4-8 0-0 9, Webber 9-18 3-3 21, Dalembert 3-3 3-4 9, Iguodala 5-11 3-3 13, Ollie 2-8 0-0 4, Korver 6-14 5-5 20, Hunter 4-4 2-2 10, Green 5-11 0-2 12, McFarlin 0-0 0-0 0, S.Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-77 16-19 98. 3-point goals - Washington 9-22 (Arenas 4-7, Stevenson 3-6, Mason 2-2, Butler 0-1, Hayes 0-2, Jamison 0-4), Philadelphia 6-14 (Korver 3-7, Green 2-2, Carney 1-1, Webber 0-1, Iguodala 0-3). Fouled out - None. Rebounds - Washington 46 (Butler 11), Philadelphia 42 (Webber 10). Assists - Washington 17 (Jamison, Stevenson 4), Philadelphia 27 (Iguodala, Ollie 7). Total fouls - Washington 16, Philadelphia 23. A - 15,080. (20,444).

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