Louis Williams' layup pulled Philadelphia to 108-107 with 40 seconds remaining. After Gilbert Arenas committed a turnover with 28 seconds left, Williams missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as the final buzzer sounded.
There was a moment of silence before the national anthem was played at Verizon Center, which Pollin built mostly with his own money.
The game was Sixers coach Eddie Jordan's first against his former team since he was fired one year ago to the day.
"I had a very close relationship with him," Jordan said of Pollin. "It's adversity for me to overcome to focus in and prepare and get a clear head and get my team to play."
Pollin hired Jordan, a Washington native, to coach his team before the 2003-04 season.