A regular season game between Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers in 2001 was the forthcoming of what would end up being a great playoff series in the 2001 playoffs between these two teams.
The 76ers were considered as a contender in the eastern conference while the Raptors, on the other hand, were a talented team that was still missing some important pieces in order to aim for the higher goals. At the same time, both teams were being led by two young superstars in Allen Iverson and Vince Carter.
We all remember the thrilling seven-game series they had in the playoffs when both Carter and Iverson carried their teams on a nightly basis. The 76ers would eventually win and play in the NBA finals against the Lakers.
However, the regular season game on January 21st between these two teams had a playoff feel to it from the start. Both Vince Carter and Allen Iverson showed up to play and gave the fans their money worth.
Allen Iverson was unstoppable that night scoring 51 points, hitting all kinds of shots in his own typical fashion. Carter almost ended the game with a triple-double scoring 39 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 8 assists.
“I told (Iverson) in overtime `This is what they want to see, a great game.’ It’s just fun,” Carter said. “These are the kind of games you love to be in. It’s also good when you win of course.”
The Raptors ended up winning the game 110-106 and Allen Iverson felt disappointed losing a game after they had the lead for the most part and in which he scored over 50 points.
“It’s a tough one because we know we had it,” Iverson said. “Any game is tough to lose, especially when we had the lead that we had and we gave it up.”
This game gave the entire NBA a preview of a series that would happen four months later that year and that is now remembered as a classic series in the 2001 playoffs.