NBA Game Summary - New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Denver
(Tuesday, March 6th)
Final Score: Denver 106, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 91
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Allen Iverson scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony responded to recent criticism with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Nuggets defeated the Hornets, 106-91.
According to a report in a Denver newspaper, Denver head coach George Karl has considered benching Anthony in hopes of reinvigorating the All-Star's all- around game.
Nene posted 15 points and 14 boards, while Steve Blake chipped in with 13 points and six assists for the Nuggets, who have won three of four to move back to .500 (29-29).
"It was a good win tonight," said Iverson. "We have to take one game at a time."
Tyson Chandler had 15 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks for the slumping Hornets, who have dropped three in a row to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Denver, meanwhile, is currently seventh in the West and trails the Lakers by 2 1/2 games for the sixth spot.
The Hornets held a slim 25-24 lead after the opening 12 minutes before Denver began to take control of the game in the second quarter. Trailing 32-28, the Nuggets ripped off an 18-4 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Linas Kleiza and Iverson, to take a 46-36 lead with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Anthony was the spark plug for the run, scoring six of his team's points.
Denver took a 53-43 lead into the locker room and two straight jumpers by Marcus Camby and Anthony early in the third quarter quickly extended the Nuggets' advantage to 14. A 7-1 run midway though the quarter made it an 18- point game and Blake drained a three with three seconds left on the clock to give Denver a commanding 87-65 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The visitors showed some life to start the fourth as baskets by Chris Paul and Linton Johnson followed by a Rasual Butler trey brought the Hornets within 15, 87-72. A Hilton Armstrong dunk and another Butler three ignited an 11-2 spurt that brought the Hornets within eight, 94-86, with 5:36 left in the game.
Denver, however, pulled away again as a pair of Iverson baskets sandwiched around a Blake jumper gave the Nuggets a 14-point cushion with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.
Camby finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, six assists and six blocks for the Nuggets...Paul added 13 points and 14 assists for the Hornets while Butler contributed 11 points off the bench.
03/06 23:59:16 ET