Friday, April 11th 2003, 12:00 am
News On 6
BOSTON (AP) _ Allen Iverson scored 25 points, including a 12-meter (40-foot) shot at the end of the third quarter, to lead Philadelphia past Boston 99-78 Thursday, moving the 76ers one game behind New Jersey for the Atlantic Division lead.
Iverson's basket gave the 76ers a 79-66 lead.
Kenny Thomas had 20 rebounds, matching his season high, and was the key to Philadelphia's overcoming a 44-43 halftime deficit. He had 10 of his 15 points and seven rebounds in the third quarter.
Boston was led by Paul Pierce's 24 points and 11 rebounds. But Antoine Walker was held to 12 points, eight below his average.
The Celtics, who clinched a playoff berth with a victory at Washington on Wednesday, fell 1 1/2 games behind New Orleans for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Seventh-place Orlando is now 1 1/2 games behind Boston.
The 76ers won without forward Keith Van Horn, who missed his third straight game with an injured left foot. Starting center Derrick Coleman didn't return after straining his left quadriceps in the second quarter. He finished with six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes.
Lakers 117, Kings 104
In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant took over in the third quarter and finished with 34 points, and Shaquille O'Neal added 32 for Los Angeles' defeat of Sacramento in its final regular-season meeting.
The Lakers outworked and outplayed the Kings to salvage a 2-2 split of the season series.
Chris Webber and Mike Bibby scored 24 each for the Kings.
Bryant scored 12 in the third period, many on difficult jumpers while being defended by Jim Jackson, as Los Angeles took an 89-79 lead into the fourth.
Los Angeles won its sixth successive game overall and its 14th straight at home, while Sacramento had its five-game winning streak snapped.