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Focused on family, Iverson won't return this season

PHILADELPHIA — The 76ers have said goodbye to A.I.

Allen Iverson's second stint with the team he once led to the NBA Finals ended Tuesday when the Sixers announced he would not return for the rest of the season.

Iverson has mostly been absent from the team for a month, returning to Atlanta to be with his family as they deal with an undisclosed illness to his 4-year-old daughter, Messiah.

Iverson, 34, who returned to the 76ers as a free agent in December, has not played since Feb. 20.

"After discussing the situation with Allen, we have come to the conclusion that he will not return to the Sixers for the remainder of the season, as he no longer wishes to be a distraction to the organization and teammates that he loves very deeply," team president Ed Stefanski said. "It has been very difficult for Allen and the team to maintain any consistency as he tries to balance his career with his personal life."

The former NBA MVP and four-time scoring champion averaged 13.8 points in 28 games this season. He started the season with Memphis but played three games before he announced a short-lived retirement.

Coach Eddie Jordan said at practice it was best for Iverson to move on and put his focus on his family.

"I think it was the right thing to do at the right time," Jordan said. "His body of work has proven to be a terrific body of work in the history of the NBA."

Iverson's agent, Leon Rose, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Other attempts to reach Iverson were unsuccessful.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: LeBron James has filed paperwork with the NBA to change his uniform number next season to No. 6 from No. 23, the league confirmed. The Cavaliers star said this season he would be willing to give up No. 23 in an effort to have the NBA retire it in honor of Michael Jordan. … Warriors leading scorer Monta Ellis has a strain in his back, according to an MRI exam, and he isn't expected to join the team during its five-game road trip.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Dwyane Wade had 35 points and 12 assists, and the host Heat snapped a four-game slide by beating the Warriors 110-106. Miami moved a half-game ahead of Charlotte for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. … Nate Robinson had 14 points in 16 minutes and Rajon Rondo added 15 points and 11 assists as the visiting Celtics beat the Pistons 105-100 to rebound from Saturday's home loss to the NBA-worst Nets. … Kevin Durant had 39 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 13 assists and the Thunder finished a 3-0 homestand by beating the Kings 113-107.

Heat 110, Warriors 106

GOLDEN STATE (106): Morrow 10-22 2-3 24, Tolliver 3-8 3-4 10, Turiaf 7-8 1-5 15, Curry 7-17 1-1 18, Watson 9-15 1-2 20, George 0-3 0-0 0, Hunter 4-6 1-2 9, Williams 4-7 0-0 10. Totals 44-86 9-17 106.

MIAMI (110): Richardson 6-8 1-2 15, Beasley 6-14 2-4 15, O'Neal 4-10 6-9 14, Alston 0-2 0-0 0, Wade 15-23 5-8 35, Chalmers 2-4 1-2 7, Anthony 0-0 2-2 2, Haslem 2-7 2-2 6, D.Wright 1-5 0-0 2, Arroyo 6-12 2-2 14. Totals 42-85 21-31 110.

Golden State 34 20 24 28— 106

Miami 33 23 30 24— 110

3-Point GoalsGolden State 9-31 (Curry 3-8, Williams 2-2, Morrow 2-10, Watson 1-4, Tolliver 1-4, George 0-3), Miami 5-14 (Richardson 2-3, Chalmers 2-4, Beasley 1-2, D.Wright 0-1, Wade 0-2, Arroyo 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 42 (Tolliver 8), Miami 61 (O'Neal 12). AssistsGolden State 22 (Curry 8), Miami 23 (Wade 12). Total FoulsGolden State 27, Miami 18. TechnicalsGolden State Coach Nelson, Miami Coach Spoelstra. A15,213 (19,600).

Celtics 105, Pistons 100

BOSTON (105): Pierce 2-6 4-4 9, Garnett 4-8 6-8 14, R.Wallace 4-10 0-0 10, Rondo 4-10 7-8 15, R.Allen 6-11 4-4 18, Daniels 0-4 2-2 2, Davis 5-14 2-4 12, Williams 3-4 0-0 6, T.Allen 2-2 1-1 5, Robinson 5-7 0-0 14, Scalabrine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-76 26-31 105.

DETROIT (100): Prince 6-12 0-0 15, Jerebko 5-9 6-6 16, B.Wallace 3-4 0-5 6, Stuckey 5-15 3-3 13, Hamilton 4-9 7-7 15, Gordon 2-8 4-6 8, Bynum 2-2 0-0 4, Villanueva 3-8 2-2 8, Maxiell 3-5 0-0 6, Summers 0-0 0-0 0, Daye 4-7 1-1 9. Totals 37-79 23-30 100.

Boston 25 30 17 33— 105

Detroit 25 27 23 25— 100

3-Point GoalsBoston 9-18 (Robinson 4-5, R.Wallace 2-5, R.Allen 2-5, Pierce 1-1, Daniels 0-1, Rondo 0-1), Detroit 3-20 (Prince 3-6, Stuckey 0-2, Hamilton 0-2, Gordon 0-3, Daye 0-3, Villanueva 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 41 (Garnett 9), Detroit 54 (B.Wallace 12). AssistsBoston 26 (Rondo 11), Detroit 24 (Hamilton 7). Total FoulsBoston 19, Detroit 22. TechnicalsGarnett, Boston defensive three second. A17,956 (22,076).

Thunder 113, Kings 107

SACRAMENTO (107): Casspi 4-7 0-0 8, Landry 7-12 3-3 17, Hawes 4-9 0-0 8, Udrih 6-9 1-1 13, Evans 7-17 13-17 27, Greene 2-3 2-2 8, May 4-8 1-1 9, Garcia 5-9 0-0 13, Dorsey 2-2 0-0 4, Udoka 0-0 0-0 0, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 41-76 20-24 107.

OKLAHOMA CITY (113): Durant 13-26 12-12 39, Green 5-10 3-3 15, Krstic 6-10 2-2 14, Westbrook 10-19 9-11 30, Sefolosha 0-2 0-0 0, Harden 1-5 0-0 3, Collison 3-5 0-2 6, Ibaka 2-3 0-0 4, Maynor 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 40-80 28-32 113.

Sacramento 25 33 24 25— 107

Oklahoma City 28 37 25 23— 113

3-Point GoalsSacramento 5-16 (Garcia 3-7, Greene 2-3, Udrih 0-1, Evans 0-1, Hawes 0-4), Oklahoma City 5-12 (Green 2-4, Westbrook 1-1, Harden 1-2, Durant 1-4, Sefolosha 0-1). Fouled OutEvans. ReboundsSacramento 35 (Landry 7), Oklahoma City 48 (Durant 10). AssistsSacramento 21 (Evans 5), Oklahoma City 21 (Westbrook 13). Total FoulsSacramento 27, Oklahoma City 22. TechnicalsSacramento defensive three second 2, Oklahoma City defensive three second. A17,677 (18,203).

Focused on family, Iverson won't return this season 03/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 10:51pm]
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