Bucks tie East finals at 3-all
|Philadelphia's Allen Iverson eyes the basket after faking out Milwaukee's Ray Allen during the second quarter of last night's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final.
Allen tied an NBA playoff record with nine 3-pointers and had his own 17-0 run as the Milwaukee Bucks held off an Iverson-led rally for a 110-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night to force a seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals.
Game 7 will be tomorrow in Philadelphia, with the winner moving on to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
"It was scary being able to score like that knowing I hadn't been shooting the ball real well," said Allen, who finished with a career playoff-high 41 points. "I was asking myself 'Where has this been for the past couple of games?' "
The Bucks let a 33-point lead dip to 10 in the fourth quarter as Iverson was phenomenal, scoring 26 of his 46 points. He finished three points shy of the NBA record for most points in a quarter set by Sleepy Floyd of Golden State in 1987.
Allen's final two 3-pointers were the biggest of the game, coming after Philadelphia had pulled to within 10 with 5:14 remaining.
"When Allen went on that run, it seemed like he was unstoppable," Allen said. "He almost pulled it off."
Allen's performance came one day after he alleged that the NBA would rather see a 76ers-Lakers final than a Bucks-Lakers final. He spent a long time before the game sitting at his locker defending his words, then went out and made the biggest statement of the series.
Hitting four consecutive 3-point shots, Allen scored 19 straight Milwaukee points over the final 5à minutes of the first quarter and the first 1à minutes of the second. When he was finished, the Bucks had turned a 16-15 lead into a 33-15 edge.
Allen had 25 points at halftime, 31 before the second half was two minutes old. His nine 3-pointers tied the NBA record set by Rex Chapman of Phoenix in 1997 and matched by Vince Carter of Toronto against the 76ers on May 11.
In the highest scoring game of the series, the Bucks improved to 3-0 this postseason when facing elimination.
"We just had to keep our composure. We've been known to blow leads," Allen said.
After being forced to play Philadelphia's slowdown style during the previous three games, the Bucks turned this one into an uptempo game as soon as they could.
Iverson made his first two shots both 3-pointers but was hit with a technical foul by referee Joey Crawford midway through the first quarter. That turned out to be the moment when the momentum shifted squarely in Milwaukee's favor.
Allen hit the technical free throw for a 17-15 lead, then closed the quarter with a pair of 3s. Allen started the second quarter with another 3-pointer, then came up with a steal, two foul shots and a 3-pointer in transition that made it 33-15.
"Every night we try to play the way we want to play," Bucks coach George Karl said. "Making shots and playing with a lead makes them play uptempo. It's pretty simple stuff."
Glenn Robinson scored his first points of the game on a corner jumper that gave the Bucks a 40-17 lead, and Allen added two more 3-pointers over the final 2:04 of the second quarter to give Milwaukee a 60-31 halftime advantage.
"If we play like we're capable of playing and not let the referees have a hand in the outcome of the game, then we'll have nothing to worry about," Allen had said Thursday.