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76ers Edge Magic, 99-98

February 15, 2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Allen Iverson scored 20 points, including a free throw with 2.9 seconds left, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 99-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Derrick Coleman added a season-high 22 points and Eric Snow had 17, including four free throws in the final minute for Philadelphia, which has won two straight since the All-Star break.

Tracy McGrady had 37 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left, and Mike Miller added a season-high 33 for Orlando.

The Magic have lost seven of nine.

After McGrady’s 3 over Aaron McKie tied it at 98, Iverson was fouled by Darrell Armstrong as he drove to the basket.

Iverson hit his first free throw, but missed the second one. Miller got the rebound, but threw the ball out of bounds while trying to pass it.

McGrady, the NBA’s leading scorer, has at least 30 points in 11 of his last 13 games. McGrady, among the first four players chosen Thursday for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, shot 11-for-26, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range.

Miller, coming off a four-point performance in Thursday night’s 98-88 loss at Detroit, was 13-for-21, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Orlando, which trailed most of the fourth quarter, got to 92-91 on a 3-pointer by Miller with 1:28 left. After McKie scored on a driving layup, Miller’s layup with 24.9 seconds left cut it to 94-93.

Snow made two free throws, giving the Sixers a 96-93 lead. But McGrady made a pair to cut Orlando’s deficit to one. After Snow hit two more free throws, McGrady nailed the game-tying 3.

Iverson shot just 8-for-22, but added seven rebounds.

Orlando, already without Grant Hill (ankle injury), didn’t have forward/center Shawn Kemp for the third straight game. Kemp missed two games after he was suspended without pay Tuesday for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy for the third time. He was reinstated Friday, but wasn’t able to join the team in time to play. Kemp is expected to return for Sunday’s game in Toronto.

The Sixers took their biggest lead, 49-37, following a 15-5 run in the second quarter. Snow began the spurt with a turnaround jumper, and added a 3-pointer _ his third in 20 attempts this season _ that made it 43-35. Iverson had a jumper and driving layup before Keith Van Horn capped the run with a layup.

Orlando then scored seven straight, ignited by a 3-pointer from Miller. A free throw by Jacque Vaughn got the Magic to 51-47 at halftime.

Notes: The Sixers again were without center Todd MacCulloch (foot) and forward Monty Williams (knee). ... The Magic are 2-0 against Philadelphia this season. ... Andrew DeClercq again started for Kemp. He fouled out after scoring two points and getting two rebounds. ... Before the game, Sixers coach Larry Brown recalled how close the team was to acquiring McGrady in a trade for former first-round pick Larry Hughes a few years ago. ``We had him. They won’t admit it, but it was done. They got nervous because of public opinion when it came out.″ Hughes eventually was traded to Golden State in a three-team deal that brought Toni Kukoc to Philadelphia from the Bulls. ... Seventy-six couples either were married or renewed their vows at center court during the Sixers sixth annual halftime wedding ceremony.

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