NBA Game Summary - San Antonio at Denver
(Thursday, January 3rd)
Final Score: Denver 80, San Antonio 77
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Allen Iverson scored 29 points, including the final two free throws, as the Denver Nuggets outlasted the San Antonio Spurs, 80-77, at the Pepsi Center.
Carmelo Anthony added 17 and nine rebounds, and the Nuggets overcame a lackluster offensive performance to win for the fourth time in the last five outings.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker paced San Antonio with 20 points apiece, and Duncan pulled down 14 rebounds, but the Spurs, without dynamic sixth man Manu Ginobili, shot just 37 percent from the floor and have now lost two of three.
Denver had held its largest lead of the second half, at six points, when a pair of Iverson free throws made it 67-61 with 8:14 to go. But the Spurs stormed back, with Duncan scoring six straight to stake San Antonio to a 75-73 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Parker then scored on a backdoor cut to extend the lead to four with under two minutes to go, but the Spurs would not score again.
Anthony Carter knocked down a huge three from the left wing to cut the lead to a point, and on the next possession found Kenyon Martin for a slam to give Denver the lead with 45 ticks on the clock.
Martin then denied Parker on the defensive end, and Bruce Bowen's three-point attempt off the ensuing rebound rimmed out and was rebounded by Anthony. The Spurs opted not to foul Denver until the clock had run under 10 seconds, and Bowen finally gripped up Iverson.
Iverson then knocked down both free throws with 6.6 seconds to go before Michael Finley's desperation three from the corner missed badly, sending Denver home with the win.
"(Carter)'s three was huge," said Nuggets head coach George Karl. "The more we can count on the other three guys (besides Iverson and Anthony), the better we will be."
Marcus Camby had a game-high 18 rebounds to go with six points for Denver, which got a career-high seven blocks from Martin as well.
"I think it's a good win for us," said Iverson. "We wanted to start the new year off right. They're a great team on both ends of the floor, but we just took advantage of the opportunities they gave us tonight."
Finley finished with 18 for the Spurs, who hit just 17-of-27 free throws (63 percent) and were uncharacteristically outworked on the boards, 48-35.
"They were being very physical out there tonight," Duncan said. "It was frustrating at times, but a lot of what happened down the stretch was my fault, so I take responsibility."
Denver led 20-15 after both teams shot woefully in the first quarter, then used a 13-2 run to start the second. The Spurs, though, closed the half on a 23-9 spurt and trailed just 42-40 at the break.
The Nuggets again opened up a nine-point lead in the third only to see it whittled to 60-59 heading to the fourth, where the scoring went back and forth all the way to the final minutes.
Denver shot 40 percent (32-for-80) from the floor for the game, led by Iverson's 10-for-18 night; Iverson also hit all eight of his free-throw attempts...Matt Bonner had nine points off the bench for San Antonio...Ginobili, who is nursing an injured finger, has missed the last four games.
01/04 00:15:50 ET