Looking back at the exciting Sixers-Raptors playoff series in 2001

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The 2020 NBA Playoffs were not kind to the Philadelphia 76ers as they were swept out of Round 1 by the Boston Celtics while they were down star Ben Simmons due to knee surgery.

On Sunday, we are going to attempt to bring back some good memories for Sixers fans as we take a look back at the 2001 playoffs when MVP Allen Iverson threw the Sixers on his bony shoulders and led them to the Finals. One specific series stands out about that run and that as their matchup with the Toronto Raptors in the semifinals.

The series featured star power in Iverson for Philadelphia and Vince Carter for Toronto and the two of them went at it for the full seven games. Iverson averaged 33.7 points and 6.9 assists while Carter averaged 30.4 points and 6.0 rebounds as the Sixers came away with a 4-3 series win in what is probably the best playoff series since 2000.

Bleacher Report wrote about the series:

Four players averaged more points than Vince Carter’s 27.6 in 2000-01. One was Allen Iverson, the 6’0″ walking bucket who won his second of four scoring titles that season.

When the basketball gods decided these two should share the floor for a seven-game series, the NBA won.

Iverson went for 36 in the series opener, but it wasn’t enough to top Toronto, which got 35 points and seven assists out of Carter. So, Iverson went deeper in his bag and unleashed a 54-point barrage to steer the Sixers to a Game 2 win. Carter responded with a 50-piece in Game 3, while Iverson came back with 30 in Game 4 and 52 (plus seven assists against one turnover) in Game 5.

Iverson was absolutely scintillating the entire series on his way to leading Philadelphia to this win and he was joined recently by Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell as players to score 50+ points twice in a series.