Allen Iverson drops 44 on Vince Carter, Raptors

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With the NBA in an indefinite hiatus due to COVID-19, we continue our day-by-day look back at the history of the Philadelphia 76ers. We continue down our path into Sixers history every day as we look to fill the void left by the absence of basketball.

Sunday’s edition of going into Sixers’ history is one of the many battles Allen Iverson and Vince Carter had in their careers. While they certainly had their battles in the playoffs, this one focuses on a regular-season matchup in Philadelphia.

March 22, 2000

The Toronto Raptors invaded Philadelphia with a game lead over the Sixers in the Eastern Conference standings and it would be huge for Philadelphia to pull this one out. The Sixers, once again, turned to their leader to lift the team on his bony shoulders once again.

Iverson delivered a huge game scoring 44 points on 17-for-29 shooting and he made all nine of his free throws. He was laser-focused all night long and Toronto could not find anybody to defend him. Carter had 26 points on 10-for-24 shooting for Toronto in what ended up as a 106-93 win for the Sixers.

It was a game where Iverson was trying to send a message to Carter and the rest of the league. He told reporters postgame:

When you have that type of quality player come in, you want to step it up. When you add to that he’s coming into my house, I want to play good in front of my fans. It’s my house.

The First Union Center was definitely Iverson’s house. The Sixers faithful packed that place every night to give him all of the support he needs to help the team win games.

The Sixers would enter the 2000 playoffs as a 3 seed and they would knock off the Charlotte Hornets in Round 1 before running into the Indiana Pacers in the semifinals. Iverson averaged 26.5 points in the series, but they fell to Indiana 4-2 as they would eventually reach the NBA Finals that season.

The Sixers and the Raptors would eventually meet in the 2001 playoffs with the Sixers winning a 7 game classic on their way to the NBA Finals. Iverson and Carter would deliver memorable performances on both sides for the series and it would go down as one of the best playoff series in NBA history.