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NETS OVERCOME IVERSON'S HUGE NIGHT

While the fender bender and the New Jersey Nets didn't come close to slowing down Allen Iverson, the Philadelphia star didn't get the help he needed.

Iverson's 42-point performance hours after a minor traffic accident went for naught Thursday night. New Jersey had three 20-point scorers, and Kendall Gill hit a clutch shot in the closing seconds in the Nets' 99-94 victory.

"They win a lot of games with him scoring a lot and I think that is their game plan going in, because he is such a great scorer," said Nets forward Keith Van Horn, who scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half to keep Iverson at bay.

"Obviously you don't want him to get 42, but we realize if we limit the other four guys on the court it will help us tremendously."

Philadelphia's other four starters combined for 10 baskets and 33 points, while the Nets had plenty of help.

Stephon Marbury and Kerry Kittles added 21 points apiece, and Gill hit a clutch baseline jumper with 14 seconds to go to seal the Nets' sixth straight victory at home. Gill finished with 11 and center Jim McIlvaine added eight.

Iverson was 11 of 26 from the field and 17 of 20 from the free-throw line, but he disagreed when asked if all his shots kept his teammates out of the offensive flow.

"My coach begs me to shoot 25 times a night, my teammates as well," said Iverson, who leads the league in scoring with a 28.6 average. "I play within the flow of the game, however it looks."

"It's important for those guys to stay involved in the game, too," Iverson said of his teammates. "They understand how I play. They know how I play. That's how we got to the playoffs last year."

Brandon powers Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS -- Terrell Brandon scored 30 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Seattle SuperSonics, 109-102, to extend their winning streak to four games.

Kevin Garnett scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and added 14 rebounds for Minnesota.

Brandon, who had 13 points in both the first and third quarters, keyed a 13-2 run to start the second half as the Timberwolves rallied to tie it at 65.

"Terrell was huge tonight. Two weeks ago, he took a lot of punishment from (the media)," said Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders.

"He's done a lot of things from that time as far as being more creative and going to the basket and taking big shots down the stretch and even carrying the team at times."

Gary Payton led Seattle with 33 points, but was 11 for 27 from the field. He was 7 for 17 from three-point range.

Around the rim

Dikembe Mutombo had 16 points, 21 rebounds and nine blocked shots as the Hawks broke a four-game losing streak, beating the Cavaliers, 108-90. Isaiah Rider scored 30 points for the Hawks, who had lost six of their previous seven. . . . Monty Williams scored seven of Orlando's last 10 points as the Magic extended their season-best winning streak to five games with a 110-106 victory over the Hornets. . . . Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato each scored 20 points as the Rockets beat the Wizards, 105-89, to snap the Wizards' three-game winning streak. . . . Michael Finley had his second triple-double against Phoenix in 12 days as the Mavericks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 111-110 victory over the Suns. Finley had his fourth career triple-double by the end of the third quarter and finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. Cliff Robinson had 30 points for the Suns. . . . Sam Cassell scored 27 points and Glenn Robinson had 25 as the Bucks beat the Spurs, 94-91. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 18 points. . . . Rasheed Wallace scored 20 points and Steve Smith had 19 as the Trail Blazers routed the Warriors, 111-91. . . . Bryant Reeves made a tip-in with 5.5 seconds left, Shareef Abdur-Rahim netted 29 points and Michael Dickerson added 22 as the Grizzlies topped the Nuggets, 93-91, despite 29 points by Denver's rookie center Raef LaFrentz.

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