2001 NBA Finals
CNNSI.com

Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Free e-mail Travel Subscribe SI About Us
  CNNSI.com
  Finals Home
NBA Draft
More NBA News
Team Pages
Lakers | Sixers
Team Stats
Lakers | Sixers
Pop-up Rosters
Lakers | Sixers
Playoffs Histories
Lakers | Sixers
Matchups
Scoreboard
Daily Schedule
Bracket
Statistics
Almanac
Your Choice Awards


EVENTS
 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

CENTERS
 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Statitudes
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Cities
 

CNNSI.com GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

COMMERCE
 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia
 TeamStore


'Deke' does it

Mutombo helps lift Sixers to Game 5 win

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Thursday May 31, 2001 1:11 AM
Updated: Thursday May 31, 2001 9:48 AM
  Dikembe Mutombo Dikembe Mutombo had his best game of the series with 21 points and 13 rebounds. AP

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The scowl on Dikembe Mutombo's face didn't change all night -- until the game was over.

Mutombo, best known for his defensive ability, helped bail out the Philadelphia 76ers with a rare offensive display Wednesday night.

The NBA's defensive player of the year scored 21 points as the Sixers overcame an awful shooting night by Allen Iverson to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 89-88 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"We knew the only way we could win is if everyone contributed," Mutombo said. "We were short-handed; our guys are hurt, but we want to win so badly."

Game 6 is Friday night in Milwaukee. Philadelphia leads the series 3-2 and is one victory away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 18 years.

Mutombo scored eight points in the third quarter as the Sixers rallied to tie the game after trailing by as much as 16 in the first half and nine at halftime.

His hook shot cut the deficit to 63-61 with 4:58 left in the third before Iverson hit a jumper to tie the game for the first time since the opening seconds.

After the Bucks took a 68-65 lead, Mutombo hit his final two free throws to cut it to 68-67.

Mutombo finished 6-of-11 from the field, 9-of-9 from the foul line and grabbed 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

"When it comes to the playoffs, you want to shoot a high percentage of foul shots, because a lot of the games are decided at the end," Mutombo said.

The Bucks aren't so sure Mutombo earned all those foul calls.

"It's frustrating, because every time he gets the ball down low, he gets a foul," Ray Allen said.

After the Sixers beat Milwaukee 89-83 in Game 4, Mutombo assured the Sixers would win Game 5 and then take the series. He guaranteed a victory in Game 7 of the conference semifinals against Toronto.

As Iverson struggled early Wednesday, the Sixers began focusing their offense around Mutombo. He posted up inside, made a couple hook shots and drew some fouls. Mutombo fouled out Ervin Johnson and helped get Scott Williams into early foul trouble.

"We made a conscious effort to get the ball down to him and then we can play off him if they double team," Aaron McKie said.

Mutombo, acquired from Atlanta in a six-player deal at the trade deadline, has silenced those who believed Philadelphia got the wrong end of the deal by giving away Theo Ratliff and Toni Kukoc.

Before the series, Bucks head coach George Karl said Mutombo wouldn't impact his team and called him "irrelevant."

"I don't care what George Karl said," Mutombo said. "I'm just trying to get the team to the finals."

 
Related information
Stories
SI's Marty Burns: Sixers-Bucks Breakdown
City leaders wager on Eastern finals
Sixers' Snow to play despite fractured ankle
Snow leads limping Sixers to 3-2 series lead
Multimedia
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

   
CNNSI   Copyright © 2001 CNN/Sports Illustrated. An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines.