Iverson returns from suspension

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Allen Iverson served his suspension, even if he didn't learn a lesson in Philadelphia.

After sitting out the 76ers' loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday because he missed the morning shootaround, Iverson returned to the lineup and had 24 points and nine assists to lead the Sixers to a 99-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Iverson, who reacted angrily to the suspension and said he felt "betrayed" on Thursday night, wasn't entirely remorseful after Friday's game.

"Maybe I'll do it again, maybe I won't," said Iverson, who was booed upon his introduction Friday. "If I'm sick, I'll call in to say I can't make it. I'm gonna do what's best for Allen Iverson's health and I'll definitely think of my teammates when I make the decision."

Iverson maintained that a headache is a good enough excuse to miss practice. He reportedly hosted a party at a South Beach nightspot the night before the Miami game.

"If I don't feel well, I don't feel well," he said. "Maybe my headaches are different than yours. I felt it could've been handled another way."

Sixers coach Larry Brown said he hopes the matter has been resolved.

"We hope there's closure to it and it's over," Brown said.

Iverson has had several problems with the Sixers during his four-year career, and this suspension was a culmination of a series of missed practices. Iverson has missed practices this season for reasons ranging from a snowstorm to his daughter's illness.

"The suspension wasn't just about one practice," Brown said. "I should have handled it sooner. You can't have rules for one guy and rules for the rest of the team. You have to care enough about each player to be on time, to get to practice and be responsible."

Iverson, 24, was suspended for a game once before when he missed a practice in New York three years ago.

In December, Iverson lashed out at Brown after being benched for the final 20 minutes of a loss at Detroit. Iverson said then he should be traded if Brown was unhappy with him.

Team president Pat Croce said the latest incident is over.

"Allen is smart enough to learn from these episodes," Croce said. "Every family has squabbles."

Iverson's teammates also said the incident is behind them.

"I don't think he means anything by his mistakes," Matt Geiger said. "A mistake is only a mistake if you do it twice."

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