76ers Notes

The 76ers will monitor point guard Allen Iverson's minutes.

Before last night's game against the Houston Rockets, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said Iverson had a sore right shin and was "hurting a little bit."

Jordan said the team and Iverson agreed that he would play in six-to-eight-minute bursts totaling about 32 to 35 minutes a game.

"Right now, Allen is not Allen; he's hurting a little bit," Jordan said, adding that "he's trying to work himself back in shape."

Through his first two games, Iverson averaged 35.5 minutes a game, shooting 33.3 percent from the field and averaging 11.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 turnovers.

Entering last night, the Sixers had lost 11 games in row and hadn't won since Nov. 18, when they beat Charlotte.

Before last night's game, Jordan was asked whether this was the most difficult stretch of his professional career.

"Probably has been, yes," he said. "It wears on you, tears on you."

Jordan said Iverson made interesting comments about the Sixers' next win.

"The game we win will be the hardest game you play," Jordan said, paraphrasing Iverson. "Almost like closing out an opponent in the playoffs. Now, obviously we're far from that."

Jordan said that Iverson, who has been with the team less than a week, was "picking his spots" on taking a leadership role.

"He's not overbearing; he's saying things at the right time, in the right way," Jordan said. "A little from Allen is a lot."

Speights update

Center Marreese Speights said he was scheduled to see the doctor last night in hopes of being cleared for practice. On Nov. 14, against Chicago, Speights partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Holiday time

Rookie point guard Jrue Holiday was cleared to play last night. Holiday missed the previous three games with a strained right rotator cuff.

Still missing

Houston's top two players, center Yao Ming and forward Tracy McGrady, have not played this season.

Yao is out for the season because of left foot surgery. McGrady is expected back soon after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee last year.

- Kate Fagan