TORONTO: Allen Iverson was not allowed to play for the Detroit Pistons here on Wednesday because two of the players sent to Denver in exchange for the flamboyant playmaker have yet to take physicals.
Chauncey Billups and Senegalese center Cheikh Samb will take their physicals for the Nuggets on Thursday and until their status is confirmed, Iverson is not allowed to suit up for the Pistons.
Billups, Samb and Antonio McDyess were sent to Denver in exchange for Iverson, 33, who will serve as Detroit's new point guard.
The Pistons managed with Iverson or the players sent to Detroit, defeating the Toronto Raptors 100-93. The Pistons improved to 4-0 while the Raptors dropped to 3-1.
Iverson, averaging 18.7 points and 6.7 assists in three games this season, is expected to be on the court for the Pistons on Friday when they face the New Jersey Nets.
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant slam dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during their NBA game on Wednesday. Bryant scored 27 points to help the Lakers to a 106-88 win. Reuters
"We feel good and comfortable with what we got but we definitely welcome what Allen Iverson is going to be able to bring to us," Pistons coach Michael Curry told reporters. "We just want to continue to improve."
In Minnesota, Tony Parker scored a career-high 55 points and Tim Duncan added 30 to lead San Antonio past Minnesota 129-125 in double overtime for the Spurs' first victory of the season.
The French guard also delivered a game-high 10 assists while Duncan grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds to spark the Spurs, who improved to 1-3 while the Timberwolves fell to 1-3 in this season.
After being level at 106-106 after regulation, each club scored 10 points in the first extra session before the Spurs outpointed Minnesota 13-9 in the final five-minute session.
Parker scored 13 of his points in the overtimes, having already surpassed his prior NBA career best of 38 points by four in regulation time.
The playmaker's point total was also the most allowed by the Timberwolves to any single opponent and the most ever scored by a foe on their home court.
Minnesota took a 116-114 lead with 2.5 seconds remaining in the first overtime on a hook shot by Al Jefferson, who scored a team-high 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
But Parker took an inbounds pass near the right corner and sank a jump shot over defender Corey Brewer at the buzzer to force a second overtime.
Roger Mason added 26 points for the Spurs while Mike Miller contributed 25 points and Brewer added 15 for the Timberwolves.
In Indiana, Amare Stoudemire scored 49 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lift the Phoenix Suns past Indiana 113-103 and lift the Suns to 4-1 in the young season.
Stoudemire, who scored 14 points in the third quarter alone, made 17-of-21 shots from the field and 15-of-15 from the free throw line to seize command.
Frenchman Boris Diaw came off the bench to score 14 points while Brazilian Leandro Barbosa and Grant Hill each added 11 for the Suns, whose run of 14 points in a row in the third quarter set the stage for the victory.
Stoudemire scored 27 points in the first half, sinking his first 11 shots from the floor, but finished one point shy of his career best, a 50-point performance against Portland in 2005.
Stoudemire also had six assists and five steals as his one-man showcase helped the Suns offset the Pacers shooting 61 percent in the first half.
In Cleveland, LeBron James scored 41 points in an overwhelming display of all-around skills despite a minor ankle injury, sparking the Cavaliers past Chicago 107-93.
Despite a sore left ankle suffered late in the first quarter when he landed on the foot of rival Derrick Rose, "King" James grabbed nine rebounds, passed out six assists and made four steals in the triumph.
James, who hit 14 free throws in a row and finished 15-of-16 from the line, scored the key points in the closing minutes to shut off a Bulls rally as well.
Ben Gordon scored 11 of the first 13 Chicago points in the fourth quarter to pull the Bulls within 90-83 on a 3-point play with 6:54 remaining.
James returned from a rest break on the bench and sank seven points in a row, the last on a tip-in with 3:05 remaining for a 97-83 Cleveland edge.
(China Daily 11/07/2008 page24)