Wednesday, May 30

Iverson couldn't play with the pain
Associated Press


MILWAUKEE – Allen Iverson stayed behind at the team hotel Saturday to rest his sore left hip joint as the Philadelphia 76ers played the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Iverson was the NBA's MVP and scoring champion during the regular season and was averaging 31.7 points in the playoffs.

Eric Snow replaced Iverson in the starting lineup.

"He wants to play, but he hurts too bad," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "Rather than come here and sit on the bench for 2½ or three hours, we thought it best he stay home."

The 76ers and Bucks were tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Saturday's game.

After Iverson missed 21 of 26 shots in a loss to Milwaukee on Thursday, Brown said he preferred Iverson stay home and rest.

"I left it up to him," Brown said. "I didn't think it was my place to make the decision for him. I'm proud of what he's done. I really appreciate the fact that he tried to play the first two games being as banged up as he was, and hopefully we'll get him well."

Philadelphia went 6-5 without Iverson during the regular season.

Iverson injured his hip when he took a hard fall during Game 7 of Philadelphia's second round series against Toronto.

Iverson scored 34 points and played all 48 minutes in Game 1 against the Bucks. He played the first 44 minutes of Game 2 and said afterward that he felt he was hurting the team.

Snow was a starter during the regular season and the first round of the playoffs, but was replaced by Aaron McKie during the series against the Raptors. Snow has been hindered by right ankle tendinitis.

"The big issue is how long I can go with Eric Snow and how many minutes he can give us. That is a real key," Brown said.

Bucks coach George Karl said his team spent extra time watching video of McKie and Dikembe Mutombo, who were expected to be the Sixers' primary offensive players with Iverson sidelined.

"This team can beat you without Iverson," Karl said.

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Game 3: Bucks trudge past Iverson-less Sixers

 Allen Iverson is left frustrated after being slowed down by injuries.
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 Allen Iverson's pain is evident and coach Larry Brown wants to give him time to rest.
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