PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving never had a night in the playoffs for the 76ers like the one Allen Iverson had against Toronto.
Iverson scored a team playoff-record 54 points, leading Philadelphia to a 97-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday night.
The best-of-seven series, tied 1-1, resumes Friday night in Toronto.
"I've never seen anything like that, certainly not in a playoff atmosphere," Aaron McKie said. "How many times are you going to see a 6-foot guy dominate a playoff game like that."
Iverson surpassed the 50 points scored by Billy Cunningham against Milwaukee in 1970. Former Sixers star Charles Barkley once scored 56 points in the playoffs, but he did it with Phoenix. Chamberlain also had 56, but it was with the Warriors.
"The kid is an MVP. What else can you say?" Dikembe Mutombo said.
Iverson was the story. He scored 19 straight points for the Sixers in the fourth before George Lynch made the last point on a free throw. Iverson hit jumpers, scored off the fast break and displayed his entire arsenal.
"He was incredible," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "He made very, very difficult shots at times. There were times when we wanted to double-team. but he turned the corner."
Iverson had 36 points on 11-of-34 shooting in the opener -- a 96-93 loss that cost Philadelphia home-court advantage. He promised his teammates he'd do better.
"I told a couple guys I wouldn't play like I played last game, because I didn't play smart," Iverson said. "I didn't know if I'd make the shots, but I knew I'd play smarter."
Alvin Williams tried to guard Iverson most of the night, but was helpless. Nobody can stop Iverson when he's on a roll.
"For my man to score 54 points, it is just ridiculous on my part," Williams said.
With the Sixers leading 89-86, Iverson hit a running jumper, got fouled and completed the three-point play, giving the Sixers a 92-86 lead with 1:16 left.
After Dell Curry nailed a 3-pointer, Iverson drilled an 18-footer to make it 94-89. Following a miss by the Raptors, Iverson got fouled, cupped his ear, implored the crowd to make more noise and screamed toward the sky. He made both free throws.
"I always feel the only person who can stop me is myself," Iverson said. "The only thing I care about is getting a win. If I shoot terrible, and we win, that's all that matters."
Spurs 104, Mavericks 90
DALLAS (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs are doing a great job on offense and defense against the Dallas Mavericks. The only thing going wrong for the Spurs this series is their players keep getting roughed up when driving the lane on Juwan Howard.
Malik Rose became Howard's latest victim, landing hard after another flagrant foul by the Dallas forward. This one came with 1:24 left in San Antonio's 104-90 victory Wednesday night that put the Spurs up 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.
"I thought what happened was totally unnecessary," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.