PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson had the ball in his hands and the game on the line, yet couldn't produce the ending he'd hoped for.
Iverson, playing in Philadelphia for the first time since being traded to Denver in December 2006, led all scorers with 32 points Wednesday night. But it was the 76ers who made the big plays down the stretch and spoiled their former MVP's return with a 115-113 victory over the Nuggets.
"I dreamed it up a certain way, and it was better than that," Iverson said. "Everything was perfect but one thing, and that was not winning the game."
Iverson misfired on a 20-foot jumper and Marcus Camby missed a put-back in the final seconds as the Nuggets lost their second consecutive game and fell 2½ games behind Golden State for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
HORNETS 90, ROCKETS 69, at New Orleans — Former Houston swingman Bonzi Wells helped New Orleans hand the Rockets their second consecutive loss after a 22-game winning streak, scoring 20 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. Modesto Christian graduate Chuck Hayes had five rebounds for Houston, which held a 14-point lead in the first half.
SUNS 110, SUPERSONICS 98, at Seattle — Steve Nash scored 23 points, Amare Stoudemire dominated inside with 26 points and Phoenix overcame a season-high 27 turnovers. It was Phoenix's sixth win in a row — its second longest streak this season — and pulled the Suns within a half game of New Orleans and the idle Lakers for the best record in the Western Conference.
CAVALIERS 89, PISTONS 73, at Cleveland — LeBron James scored 30, moving closer to becoming Cleveland's top career scorer, and the Cavaliers beat Detroit in the Pistons' first visit to Cleveland since losing Game 6 of last year's Eastern Conference finals. James now needs five points to pass Brad Daugherty (10,389 points with Cleveland) as the Cavs' scoring leader.
RAPTORS 96, HEAT 54, at Toronto — Toronto held Miami to the third-lowest point total in the shot-clock era.
NETS 125, HAWKS 117, at East Rutherford, N.J. — Vince Carter had a season-high 39 points and 10 assists and New Jersey moved into a tie with Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East. New Jersey also won the season-series with Atlanta 3-1, which means the Nets have the advantage if they finish tied.
WIZARDS 87, MAGIC 86, at Orlando, Fla. — Washington held Dwight Howard to three points.
PACERS 102, BOBCATS 95, at Indianapolis — Flip Murray scored 22 points, and Indiana won its second consecutive game while handing Charlotte its fifth consecutive loss.
TIMBERWOLVES 98, GRIZZLIES 94, at Minneapolis — Al Jefferson scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half to help Minnesota erase a 14-point deficit.
BUCKS GM OUT — Larry Harris will not be offered a new contract as general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks and has left the team, owner and Sen. Herb Kohl said. Harris asked for an early decision on the status of his contract that would have expired in June, Kohl said. By mutual agreement, he was relieved of his responsibilities so he could pursue other opportunities.