Iverson misses second straight game

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson missed his second straight game for the Philadelphia 76ers because of arthritis in his left knee.

Sixers coach Eddie Jordan made the announcement before Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, saying Iverson will not return until Philadelphia's game against Portland on Dec. 28 at the earliest.

"Rest is the best thing for him, for about a week now," Jordan said. "He feels confident that he'll feel great the rest of the year."

The 34-year-old Iverson, who also sat out Friday's win over the Boston Celtics, is averaging 14.4 points in eight games with Philadelphia and Memphis this season.

The Sixers received good news with guard Lou Williams returning to the lineup after missing 12 games with a broken jaw. Williams was hurt in a Nov. 24 game against Washington and had surgery the next morning. He was expected to miss at least eight weeks.

Jordan said Williams, whose injury prompted the team to sign Iverson, will be eased into the rotation as a reserve. Williams is averaging 17.4 points with 14 starts this season.

"He has looked great in practices," Jordan said. "He had a burst of energy. He took a couple of hits and felt fine. [We'll play him for] a few minutes here, a few minutes there."

With Williams back, Jordan will have to address the issue of playing time when Iverson returns.

"I need to buy a nice $100 bottle of wine to sort that out," he said. "That would be some thought process, a good thought process. We have some good, skilled guards and it's just a matter of how does it fit."