Allen Iverson Scores 54 Against the Toronto Raptors: This Day in Sports History

Stephen Douglas
Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson / TOM MIHALEK/Getty Images
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Allen Iverson had an insane playoff run in 2001. He carried the Philadelphia 76ers all the way to the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 32.9 points, 6.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals in the postseason. After winning 56 games in the regular season, the Sixers beat the Pacers 3-1 in the first round before dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Toronto Raptors. In Game 2, the MVP appeared.

On May 9, 2001, Iverson erupted for a then-career playoff high 54 points. Iverson's performance would inspire Vince Carter to answer back with 50 points in Game 3. Iverson would again top that with 52 in Game 6 and hand out 16 assists in Game 7. It was an incredible battle between two young stars.

Iverson sat for only 14 seconds in the game, which was not unusual during the run. He played an astounding 46.2 minutes per game in the '01 postseason. Over his Hall of Fame career, Iverson averaged 41.2 minutes per game in the playoffs - the fourth-highest average of all time, behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson.

In Game 2, The Answer attempted 39 shots, including 34 two-pointers. Almost all of his attempts were set up by his own dribble. Iverson was a one-man offense. He was so good he made Theo Ratliff, the Sixers' second-leading scorer that season, an All-Star before he was traded away for 34-year-old Dikembe Mutombo. Mutombo would play more than 42.7 minutes a game during the '01 postseason.

In addition to Mutombo, Tyrone Hill, Eric Snow, George Lynch, Aaron McKie and Jumaine Jones rounded out the main rotation. Kevin Ollie, Raja Bell, Matt Geiger, Todd MacCulloch and Rodney Bufford split whatever minutes were left. It took an all-time performance against Toronto and some crazy - and controversial - games against the Bucks, but AI made it out of the East for the first and only time in his career. No small feat with that group.

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