The Detroit Pistons were unable to capitalise on the new acquisition Allen Iverson's team-leading 24 points to drop their first game of the season, a 103-96 loss at the New Jersey Nets on Friday. The Nets point guard Devin Harris scored a game-high of 38 points as New Jersey used a second-half surge to beat Detroit (4-1) and steal the thunder from Iverson's debut.
"The whole thing [everyone told me] when I got here was don't worry about fitting in. Play your game," Iverson, 33, said. "The only way I can help this team is to play my game." For the Nets, Harris conver ted 20-of-24 free throws, and scored four successive points down the stretch to push New Jersey's lead to 102-94 with 18 seconds to go. He played the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle and has his future availability in question.
Vince Carter had 18 points and Josh Boone added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets (2-2). The Pistons struggled to find their range from the floor, shooting just 37 per cent. Iverson scored 13 points in the first half, finished 6-for-12 from the field and added six assists and three rebounds. "I thought Al [Iverson] played really good - moved the basketball and played within himself offensively," said the Pistons coach Michael Curry. "Those guys, they're good enough scorers, they'll figure it out."
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker also suffered a sprained ankle during his team's 99-83 loss to the Miami Heat. Parker landed on a defender's foot during the first quarter and did not return. The extent of the injury has yet to be determined but an ESPN reporter said during the game's telecast that the team confirmed X-rays had proved negative. * Reuters