2. Iverson lights up Charlotte for 55 in 2003 NBA Playoffs
The Sixers came into the 2003 NBA Playoffs as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, taking on the Charlotte Hornets in the first round. Coming off a first round elimination the year before to the Boston Celtics, Iverson took control of the game early, setting the tone for the series. Scoring early and often, AI lit up the scoreboard for 55 points, while taking the life out of the Hornets.
Though the Sixers would go on and lose the next round to the top-seeded Detroit Pistons, the memory of Iverson’s 55-point game lives on forever for his fans. It would be the third time he would score over 50 in a playoff game in his career, though it would be his playoff high. In the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, AI scored 54 and 52 points, leading Philly to the Eastern Conference Finals.
His 55 points against the Hornets ranks him tied for sixth all-time in points in a single playoff game. Jordan owns the record with 63 against the Boston Celtics in 1986.
The game was an exclamation point on an up and down season in which Iverson proved to be the consistent for the Sixers. After losing head coach Larry Brown to resignation on Memorial Day, the Sixers banded together, thanks to AI who played in all 82 games. On this night, he would go 21-32 from the field, 10-11 from the line, and would finish with eight assists. AI could close out the series with a 45 point game in Game 6.
Next: No.1 Game 1 victory in 2001 NBA Finals