INDIANAPOLIS -- A tearful Allen Iverson was as eager to pass the credit as the basketball.
The NBA's scoring leader had 33 points, but it took a blocked shot and basket by Dikembe Mutombo and a big rebound and two free throws by Aaron McKie to give the Philadelphia 76ers an 88-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Then after a post-game hug from Reggie Miller, Iverson broke down.
''Those were tears of joy,'' he said.
''I'm exhausted physically and mentally, because they brought out a lot in Allen Iverson,'' he said. ''It's been rough on me mentally. We could never get past these guys (in the playoffs).''
Philadelphia, which lost to Indiana in the playoffs each of the past two years, this time won the first-round Eastern Conference series 3-1 and advanced to the conference semifinals against the winner of the New York-Toronto series, which is tied 2-2.
''I'm proud to be in the foxhole with these guys,'' Iverson said of his teammates. ''I always see those same faces. They never give up. They never stop playing.''
A 3-point basket by Travis Best gave Indiana an 85-82 lead with just over two minutes to go, but McKie pulled the 76ers within one. Then Mutombo blocked a shot by Derrick McKey and scored on a hook shot with 1:09 remaining.
After an exchange of possessions with no scoring, Reggie Miller missed a 3-pointer and McKie pulled down the rebound with 5.8 seconds to go. He was immediately fouled and hit both free throws. Jalen Rose then missed a 3-pointer for Indiana as the game ended.
''The only way we win this game is with great defense,'' said Mutombo, who came to Philly in a six-player trade with Atlanta in February.
''I knew time was running out. I didn't have a choice,'' Mutombo said of his go-ahead basket. ''I took a great hook and it went in. There's nothing more you can ask. I never thought this year was going to end up the way it has. I was able to be part of a team that won the division, the conference. Now we're trying to win everything.''
Miller, who embraced Iverson and then Sixers coach Larry Brown before walking off the court, had 32 points for Indiana. Rose finished with 18.
''I told Allen afterward he has to make them believe they can win it all,'' Miller said. ''This is their first step. I definitely see them coming out of the East. ... We put them through enough wars, I think they've pretty much seen everything.''
Rose said the last play was designed to go to Miller for a tying 3-pointer.
''They defended him, so I put up the shot,'' Rose said. ''It wasn't my best shot. I feel a responsibility. I had a mediocre series when my team needed a phenomenal series. They were the better team and they played like it.''
Kings 89, Suns 82
PHOENIX -- The comeback Kings did it again, and they're headed to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.
Sacramento, down by 19 early in the second quarter, missed 22 consecutive shots, went more than 12 minutes without a field goal in the first half and still beat the Phoenix Suns 89-82 Wednesday night to win the best-of-five Western Conference series 3-1.
Peja Stojakovic, the only offense Sacramento had much of the night, scored a career playoff-high 37 points, including 14-of-14 free throws. He was just two short of his career high in any NBA game.
The Kings, who rallied from 17 down to win Game 3 and came from 28 points behind to win at Phoenix in the regular season, advance to a second-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Kings hadn't won a playoff series since 1981, when they were in Kansas City.
Chris Webber, who missed his first 11 shots and was just 7-for-27 from the field, scored 15, including a crucial 10-foot bank shot with 1:38 to play, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Scot Pollard, a Suns nemesis throughout the series, had six points and 13 rebounds. His only field goal was a short hook shot that put Sacramento ahead 82-78 with 1:13 remaining.
Doug Christie stole Jason Kidd's pass for a layup with 1:02 to play to give Sacramento an 84-78 lead.
Tony Delk's two free throws cut it to 84-80, but Kidd was called for a flagrant foul on Bobby Jackson's layup. Jackson, who scored 10, made one of two free throws to put Sacramento ahead 85-80.
Raptors 100, Knicks 93
TORONTO -- Vince Carter scored 32 points and ex-Knick Chris Childs added a career playoff-high 25 points as Toronto beat New York to force a decisive fifth game in the first-round playoff series.
Toronto controlled the offensive boards, played intense defense and broke the game open with a 12-1 run beginning late in the third quarter. The Raptors won a home playoff game for the first time in franchise history.
Carter finished 10-for-22 from the field and 10-for-14 from the line with seven rebounds and four assists. Alvin Williams added 18 points for Toronto.
Allan Houston scored 27 and Latrell Sprewell had 24 for the Knicks. Marcus Camby finished with four points.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.