Sixers' thrilling ride started with a streak and ended with final flourish

This article was originally published in the Inquirer on June 17, 2001.


Aug. 7: Ending weeks of speculation about a possible trade, 76ers general manager Billy King announces that Allen Iverson will likely remain with the team.

Oct. 2: At Sixers media day, Iverson responds to criticism over derogatory lyrics on his unreleased rap album.

Oct. 11: Citing fatigue from his tour as an assistant with the 2000 U.S. Olympic basketball team, Sixers coach Larry Brown opts to miss a trip to Mexico City for a preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

Oct. 12: Iverson meets with NBA commissioner David Stern, who admonishes the Sixers star for his CD's content.

Oct. 22: First-round draft choice Speedy Claxton suffers a knee injury in a preseason game against Utah. Claxton suffers a torn anterior cruciate ligament, sidelining him for the season.

Oct. 28: The Sixers sign journeyman guard Vernon Maxwell.

Oct. 31: The Sixers manhandle the New York Knicks in the season opener, 101-72.

Nov. 1: In their home opener against Toronto, the Sixers prevail, 104-98.

Nov. 3: Behind 29 points from Iverson and 14 points and 17 rebounds from center Theo Ratliff, the Sixers win at Orlando, 87-80.

Nov. 4: With 3.4 seconds remaining, Eric Snow strips the ball from Heat guard Tim Hardaway, clinching an 84-82 win at Miami.

Nov. 8: Iverson scores 20 points in a 103-94 home win over Detroit.

Nov. 9: Aaron McKie's jumper with 48 seconds remaining pushes the Sixers past the host Minnesota Timberwolves, 84-82.

Nov. 11: Snow's 25 points lead the Sixers past the visiting Boston Celtics, 85-83.

Nov. 15: George Lynch scores 23 points and Iverson has 22 in a 107-98 defeat of Cleveland at the First Union Center.

Nov. 17: The Sixers beat Miami, 94-73, to establish the best start in franchise history (9-0).

Nov. 20: A 114-90 win at Boston takes the Sixers to 10-0 for the season.

Nov. 22: The Sixers' streak ends at Charlotte in an 88-73 defeat.

Dec. 4: Brown is named NBA coach of the month for November.

Dec. 6: Snow is diagnosed with an ankle fracture. The guard is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Dec. 8: Dressing only eight players, the Sixers defeat Portland, 107-94, running their record to a league-best 15-4.

Dec. 19: After a loss in Dallas and a team meeting in Chicago in which he is challenged by Iverson to stop yapping at a successful team, Brown decides to take a few days off.

Dec. 22: Maxwell, whom Iverson has befriended, is waived before a game against New York. Later, an angry Iverson suffers a partially dislocated shoulder in a 91-71 loss.

Dec. 26: McKie scores 24 points to lead the Sixers to an unlikely 91-71 road win at Utah.

Dec. 27: After just five days away from the court, Iverson returns to score 29 points in a 118-110 win over Golden State.

Dec. 30: Iverson pours in 46 points and McKie records a triple-double in a 107-104 overtime win at Sacramento.


Jan. 2: McKie is named NBA player of the week.

Jan. 3: McKie posts his second-straight triple-double in a 98-80 defeat of the Atlanta Hawks. The two triple-doubles in a season tie Charles Barkley's Sixers record.

Jan. 8: Iverson is named NBA player of the week.

Jan. 9: Iverson enters the top 10 in all-time Sixers scoring in a 104-87 win over New Jersey.

Jan. 27: Iverson is selected by fans to start for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star Game.

Jan. 28: In a nationally televised game at Indiana, NBC's microphones catch Iverson uttering a slur at Pacers fans.

Jan. 30: Ratliff is chosen to join Iverson on the East all-star squad.

Feb. 1: Iverson is named the NBA player of the month for January.

Feb. 2: The league fines Iverson $5,000 for the Indiana incident.

Feb. 8: Doctors determine that Ratliff will miss up to six weeks with a fractured wrist.

Feb. 11: After scoring 25 points to lead the East team to a 111-110 win in the NBA All-Star Game, Iverson is named most valuable player.

Feb. 14: Matt Geiger, who has missed much of the season with injuries, is suspended by the league for two games for a steroid-use violation.

Feb 16: Brown captures his 1,000th career victory in a 108-93 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Feb. 19: Doctors decide that Ratliff must undergo wrist surgery.

Feb. 22: Ratliff, Toni Kukoc, Nazr Mohammed and Pepe Sanchez are traded to Atlanta for center Dikembe Mutombo and forward Roshown McLeod.

March 16: The Sixers announce that Brown will miss two games because of discomfort in his chest. He is found to suffer from acid reflux.

April 7: The Sixers clinch the Atlantic Division title with a 96-88 win over Cleveland.

The Postseason

First Round

April 21: Reggie Miller's three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining gives the Indiana Pacers a series-opening 79-78 win at the First Union Center.

April 23: Mutombo is named NBA defensive player of the year.

April 24: Iverson scores 45 points and gets nine assists as the Sixers prevail, 116-98, to even the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

April 28: The Sixers regain home-court advantage with a 92-87 win in Indianapolis. Iverson scores 32 points and McKie adds 22 to lead the way. Meanwhile, Miller misses three three-pointers down the stretch.

April 30: Pacers guard Travis Best, who has fouled out twice, says Iverson gets special treatment from the referees.

May 2: Mutombo's jump hook with 1 minute, 9 seconds remaining and McKie's two free throws with 5.8 seconds left lift the Sixers to an 88-85 win. They eliminate the Pacers, three games to one.

Eastern Conference Semifinals

May 6: The Toronto Raptors steal home-court advantage with a 96-93 win at the First Union Center behind Vince Carter's 35 points and Dell Curry's 20-point effort off the bench.

May 8: McKie wins the NBA Sixth Man Award.

May 9: Iverson erupts for 54 points on 21-for-29 shooting, and the Sixers even the series at one game apiece with a 97-92 win.

May 11: Carter responds to Iverson's performance with a 50-point game of his own, including 9-for-13 shooting from beyond the three-point line. The Raptors' 102-78 win snatches back home-court advantage.

May 13: McKie starts in place of the injured Snow and scores 18 points, including a crucial jumper with 1:48 left, as the Sixers pull even with an 84-79 win.

May 15: Iverson is named the NBA's most valuable player.

May 16: Iverson goes off again, scoring 52 points on 21-for-32 shooting, and the 121-88 win gives the Sixers a 3-2 lead in the series.

May 18: Toronto shoots 47.6 percent from the field, led by Carter's 39 points, and the series goes to a deciding seventh game after a 101-89 Raptors victory.

May 20: The Sixers narrowly avoid an early exit when Carter's buzzer-beating shot barely misses. The 88-87 victory, however, means a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. During the game, Iverson suffers a debilitating tailbone injury.

Eastern Conference Finals

May 22: The Sixers finally win a series opener, beating the Milwaukee Bucks, 93-85. McKie scores 23 points, and Mutombo grabs 18 rebounds.

May 23: Brown is named NBA coach of the year.

May 24: Iverson, showing the effects of the tailbone injury, shoots just 5 for 26, and the Bucks, led by Ray Allen's 38 points, run off with Game 2, 92-78, at the First Union Center.

May 26: Playing without the injured Iverson, the Sixers give a game effort but fall, 80-74.

May 28: Iverson plays through his tailbone injury and a bloodied lip, scoring 28 points to lead the Sixers to an 89-83 win and a tie in the series.

May 30: A gimpy Snow hits two key jumpers in the last two minutes, and the Bucks' Glenn Robinson misses an eight-footer at the buzzer, preserving the Sixers' 89-88 win.

May 31: On an off day, the Bucks complain about the Sixers' rough play and the officiating in the series. They also hint strongly at a conspiracy theory, claiming that the league wants the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sixers in the NBA Finals.

June 1: Allen's 13-for-19 three-point-shooting performance helps Milwaukee to a 110-100 win and ensures a deciding Game 7. But Iverson scores 26 points in the fourth quarter, nearly leading the Sixers to a comeback.

June 3: Mutombo dominates the Bucks' big men, racking up 23 points, 19 rebounds and 7 blocked shots, and the Sixers advance to the NBA Finals with a 108-91 victory.

NBA Finals

June 6: The Sixers win Game 1 against the host Los Angeles Lakers in overtime, 107-101. Iverson scores 48 points, and Geiger contributes 10 points in 14 minutes off the bench. However, McKie suffers a chip fracture in his right ankle.

June 8: The Lakers bounce back in Game 2, 98-89, behind 28 points and 20 rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal, 31 points from Kobe Bryant, and a Derek Fisher three-pointer with 2:09 left.

June 10: The Lakers take Game 3 at the First Union Center, 96-91. The big-name stars shine, but it is Robert Horry's three-pointer with 47.1 seconds left that makes the biggest splash in the contest.

June 13: O'Neal is dominant in the middle, and the Lakers' bench plays well, taking Game 4, 100-86.

June 15: Behind 29 points from O'Neal and 26 from Bryant, and six timely three-pointers from Fisher, the Lakers take Game 5, 108-96, to finally finish off the Sixers and repeat as NBA champions.