On May 16th of 2001, Allen Iverson, the league leader in scoring, was awarded the MVP trophy before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs the Toronto Raptors. He proudly held the trophy high to the cheering crowd and then gave them a memorable show as he dropped 52 points — 29 in the first half on 12-of-19 shooting — in a blowout win for the 76ers. Iverson also had a 76ers’ playoff record 8 3-pointers to go with 7 assists and 4 steals.
“Once it started, it started and when it ended, it ended,” Iverson said of the ceremony. “Then it was time to play. I owe too much to myself and my teammates to keep dwelling on that. I tried to come out and play, and get in a rhythm and once I had that to stay in it. The crowd was in it big time.”
Vince Carter, who scored 50 in GM3, was held to just 16 points and left early in the 4th after a blow to the head by Mt. Mutombo.
“It hurt,” Carter said of the hit. “When it hit, everything started hurting at once. I had a major headache and couldn’t get up. I’ll be ready [for Game 6].”
And he was. Carter outscored Iverson 39 to 20 in Game 6 and the Raptors won by 12. The 76ers took Game 7 with a one-point victory.
The series is often mentioned as one of the most entertaining in NBA history.