PHILADELPHIA Allen Iverson again is leading Philadelphia upward in the Eastern Conference standings.
Iverson scored 38 points and had 16 assists, helping the Sixers spoil the return of Shaquille O'Neal and overcome a career-high 48 points from Dwyane Wade with a 126-119 overtime win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
''It's like a do or die situation,'' Iverson said. ''A loss here or there and we could be out of the playoffs. We understand that. It just says a lot about us.''
Marc Jackson scored 26 and Kyle Korver 20 for the Sixers, who won for the fifth time in six games. With Cleveland's 95-89 loss to New York, the Sixers (40-38) moved into a tie for seventh in the East standings. Philadelphia, though, holds the tiebreaker with three wins over the Cavaliers.
The next two games will go a long way toward deciding Philadelphia's fate. They play at Indiana on Friday and at New Jersey on Sunday before ending the season with games against Milwaukee on Monday and Atlanta on Wednesday.
''Playing a lot of games in a few nights, that comes with the territory,'' Jackson said. ''You enjoy those things.''
Wade's career-high in points and 10 rebounds couldn't keep the Heat from losing their season-high third straight game. While the Heat have already wrapped up the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs, they're stumbling at the finish.
''We had a chance to put them away,'' Wade said. ''They are a team playing for their playoff lives and you could see that tonight.''
Knicks 95, Cavaliers 89
CLEVELAND Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and Maurice Taylor had 16, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as the New York Knicks damaged Cleveland's playoff chances.
LeBron James scored 27 points on 7-of-25 shooting 4-of-13 on 3-pointers and had a career-high 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers (40-38), who lead idle New Jersey (38-40) by two games in the standings with four games left. The Cavs would lose tiebreakers to both the 76ers and the Nets.
Mavericks 102, Trail Blazers 90
PORTLAND, Ore. Jerry Stackhouse scored 18 points, and the Mavericks beat the woeful Blazers without Dirk Nowitzki.
Nowitzki, who scored 31 points in the Mavericks' 95-90 victory over Seattle on Wednesday, did not play because of a sore left shoulder. He leads Dallas with averages of 26.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who have lost nine of 10 games.
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