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IVERSON, BROWN CLEAR THE AIR OVER TRADE TALK

Allen Iverson met with 76ers coach Larry Brown today and then recanted on his suggestion that he be traded.

"I love Philadelphia. I love playing here. I love the fans. I want to finish my career here," the star guard said after meeting with Brown and team owner Pat Croce for more than an hour during today's practice.

Iverson and Brown were not talking Sunday after the mercurial star complained about being benched and suggested for the first time that the Sixers trade him.

"The situation is resolved. All the things he wants, I want," Brown said. "I understand where he's coming from a lot more than ever before. I feel confident things will be much better for him. He felt by not playing him I was disrespecting him and I was pointing the finger at him. I feel bad about that."

Iverson, who led the NBA in scoring last season, lashed out at his coach Saturday night after being benched with two other starters for the final 20 minutes of Philadelphia's 104-91 loss at Detroit.

"For some reason, my style doesn't fit this team anymore," Iverson said Saturday. "If that's the way it is, something needs to happen. Something's got to give.

"If I'm hurting this team, I need to get out of here. I don't like what is going on. When I get back to Philly, I'll let that be known. However you look at it, I'm going to be the bad guy, but I'll deal with it.

"I've never been done like that ever in my career."

Only four players attended Brown's optional practice Sunday: Tyrone Hill, George Lynch, Eric Snow and rookie Todd MacCulloch. Brown challenged Iverson to meet with him if he meant what he said.

"My door is always open," Brown said Sunday. "I'm here today. If it's such a pressing, urgent matter, I'm accessible."

Iverson didn't take Brown up on his offer Sunday, but he discussed the matter with General Manager Billy King.

"It will stay between us what we talked about," King said. "We've been able to work out other problems, and I don't see why we won't be able to work this one out."

Brown on Sunday dismissed Iverson's comments, saying they came in the heat of the moment. Iverson anticipated Brown's reaction, saying Saturday night, "I mean every word I'm saying. Every single word."

Bryant gets best of Raptors

TORONTO -- The Los Angeles Lakers were waiting to clear customs at the airport Saturday, and Phil Jackson took advantage of the downtime to mosey over to Kobe Bryant and chat.

The message: Play with greater wisdom and control. See the big picture as it pertains to the game situation and team situation. Understand the most direct path to a victory isn't always the most brilliant.

On Sunday, the league-leading Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors, 94-88, and have now won 13 of their past 14 games. The victory avenged the Lakers' only loss this season to an Eastern Conference team.

Toronto handled the Lakers on Nov. 21, back when Bryant was sidelined with a broken hand. This time, Bryant was here and playing with Jackson-generated prudence for three quarters. The Lakers led big, 73-56.

In the fourth quarter, Bryant regressed. No matter that Jackson had reminded him at halftime not to slide -- Bryant couldn't help himself. And the Lakers almost blew their lead.

"I thought that he felt like he had to do something special at the end of the game," Jackson said. "He didn't."

Said Bryant: "That fourth quarter, that's the hardest time to hold myself back. That's when the competitive instincts want to take over. But you kind of have to sit back and do things in the flow of the game. I'm still learning."

The Raptors cut their deficit to 84-80 with 1:23 left. Bryant, who had a team-high 26 points, sank a crowd-silencing 12-foot jumper, and the Lakers held on.

Toronto's Vince Carter, facing Bryant for the first time, scored 29 points.

Gugliotta back home

PHOENIX -- Tom Gugliotta was back home Sunday, celebrating his 30th birthday after his frightening seizure on the Phoenix Suns' team bus in Portland.

"Man, this really puts life in perspective," Gugliotta told the Arizona Republic in an interview on his flight to Phoenix on Saturday night.

Gugliotta said he remembers nothing of the seizure Friday night, only that he woke up about 4 a.m. Saturday in Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

He was released from the hospital Saturday and further tests are planned in Phoenix.

"It could have happened because of dehydration, or something like that," Gugliotta said.

Around the rim

Jamie Feick scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, outplaying opposing center Dikembe Mutombo, as the Nets beat the Hawks, 96-88, for their fifth straight home victory. .. Michael Dickerson scored 26 points and coach Lionel Hollins earned his first victory as the Grizzlies beat the Clippers, 85-84.

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