INDIANAPOLIS – Allen Iverson had 29 points and 12 assists, and Philadelphia beat the Indiana Pacers 111-109 Saturday night for Maurice Cheeks’ first win as 76ers coach.

Chris Webber added 25 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers, who nearly blew a 20-point lead.

Indiana had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley missed 3-pointers, and Webber made two free throws on the other end with 1.8 seconds left to seal the win.

Jermaine O’Neal led Indiana with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Philadelphia (1-3) shot 61 percent from the field the first three quarters, but struggled in the fourth to allow the Pacers back into the game.

Philadelphia ruined Ron Artest’s first regular-season home game since last November. He was suspended for 73 games and the playoffs last season after going into the stands Nov. 19 and fighting with Pistons fans in Auburn Hills, Mich. He finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

Philadelphia entered as the league’s only team with three losses, and was coming off a 110-93 home loss to Charlotte on Friday. Indiana (2-1) was coming off an emotional win Thursday at Miami.

Tinsley finished with 21 points and six assists. Jackson scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, making three 3-pointers.

The Pacers made their first 20 free-throw attempts, but Artest missed one in the final minute with the Pacers trailing 108-105. He also had a turnover with the Pacers trailing 106-102, and Webber scored at the other end to increase Philadelphia’s lead to four with 1:45 left.

Iverson, last season’s NBA scoring champion, entered the game third in the league with 31.7 points per game despite shooting 39 percent from the field. He made 11 of 29 shots against the Pacers.

Kyle Korver added 15 points and a career-high nine assists for the 76ers.

Philadelphia led 61-52 at halftime and took an 86-66 lead on Iverson’s basket with 4:14 left in the third quarter. The Pacers outscored the 76ers 14-6 the rest of the quarter to climb back into the game.

AP-ES-11-05-05 2317EST


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