Work in Sports
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Derrick Coleman took care of the offense and Eddie Jones supplied the defense.
Coleman scored eight of his 29 points in overtime and Jones slowed down Allen Iverson as the Charlotte Hornets rallied for a 108-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers that evened their Eastern Conference first-round series at one game each.
Coleman did in his previous team by making his first four shots of the extra session. Working against Tyrone Hill, he made 10-of-15 shots overall and added seven assists and four blocks.
"I hit a couple of shots and my teammates kept going to me and I felt real comfortable," Coleman said.
"We really executed well and DC took over and brought us home," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "He stepped up big and won the game. They say the cream rises to the top and that's just what happened tonight with DC."
Coleman's clutch performance impressed his former coach.
"Derrick was as good as anyone could possibly be tonight," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "We did not get to him quick enough on the double-team and he was able to make plays as a result."
Hampered by foul trouble in Game One, Jones sat and watched Iverson score 40 points and lead the 76ers to the win. Tonight, he played 50 minutes and held the NBA's second-leading scorer to just 13 points on 5-of-21 shooting.
"You can't really shut the little guy down, but if I know I'm on the floor I can contest a lot of shots," Jones said.
"I said I may not be able to do what I did Saturday," Iverson said. "Eddie Jones did a great job."
Jones also had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists but missed a potential game-winning jumper at the end of regulation.
He contributed a 3-pointer in the extra session as Charlotte handed Philadelphia its first loss in six overtime games this season.
Toni Kukoc scored 20 points off the bench and Eric Snow added 19 and 13 assists for the Sixers, who blew a five-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter due to some poor play by Iverson.
Game Three of the best-of-five series is Friday at Philadelphia.
A follow shot by George Lynch completed a 9-0 run and gave the Sixers an 83-78 lead with 6:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.
After a tough running bank shot by Snow, Philadelphia still had an 89-84 lead and Charlotte was in danger of dropping the first two games at home.
The teams went scoreless for nearly two minutes as Coleman had a big block of a dunk by Lynch. David Wesley made a 3-pointer and Iverson threw away a pass and missed a jumper before Anthony Mason scored inside to give Charlotte an 89-89 tie with a minute to go.
"It wasn't just me (stopping Iverson)," Jones said. "David did a great job, too. The help defense was great."
"Eddie was great tonight at getting out and denying," Iverson said. "He also kept pressure on me when I had the ball."
Elden Campbell's tip-in gave the Hornets a 91-89 lead with 26 seconds left but Snow sank a foul-line jumper to tie it 14 seconds later. Jones had a good look but missed at the horn.
"I felt when we got the stop at the end of regulation that we would come out with some energy," Brown said. "When we lost the tip we acted like we lost the game."
Mason and Coleman opened the overtime with baskets to give the Hornets the lead for good. Coleman answered hoops by Theo Ratliff and Iverson with short jumpers and Jones' 3-pointer made it 102-95 with 1:58 to go. Kukoc missed and Coleman sealed it with another turnaround jumper.
"Derrick was tremendous," Brown said. "He completely gave them a big lift in overtime."
Campbell collected 20 points and 14 rebounds and Mason scored 14 points for the Hornets, who shot 53 percent (44-of-83) and had all five starters in double figures. Charlotte held a 48-32 advantage in points in the paint.
"I thought Elden came up big and gave us a huge lift," Silas said. "We need him to step up like that every night."
"Coach has been saying all year for me to be a little selfish," Campbell said.
Ratliff scored 15 points and Hill added 10 and 13 boards for the Sixers, who shot 43 percent (37-of-86) and held a 42-41 edge on the glass. Last in the league in 3-pointers during the season, Philadelphia made 8-of-15 shots from behind the arc.
"They established the game they play, which is inside-out," Snow said. "We didn't get as many points in transition but they just made their shots. If we can get some stops and get them out of their game, we can get the tempo in our favor."
"We just didn't play smart offensively," Lynch said. "We gotta get better shots and find a way to get into transition."
Just as he did in Game One, Iverson started slowly, missing five of his first six shots. A 3-pointer and three-point play by Coleman capped an 8-0 run and gave Charlotte a 24-16 lead with 57 seconds left in the period.
Dunks by Hill and Ratliff triggered an 11-0 burst that gave the Sixers a 27-24 lead early in the second quarter. The Hornets fought back and a jumper by Jones gave the Hornets a 45-37 advantage with less than three minutes to go in the first half but the Sixers closed with a flurry.
Snow made two free throws, Kukoc sank two jumpers around a drive by Iverson and Matt Geiger made a jumper before Jones hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving Charlotte a 49-47 lead.
Kukoc, who did not score from the field in Game One, had 14 at the half. Jones scored 11 to lead the Hornets.
"When my shot isn't falling, my teammates have to step up and they did," Iverson said.
The teams dueled 3-pointers for a stretch of the third quarter.
McKie came on for Snow and scored all nine of his points in the period, including consecutive 3-pointers to give the Sixers a 64-61 lead. Wesley answered with a 3-pointer but Snow returned and also drilled two in a row to make it 72-68 with 2:14 left.