NBA Game Summary - Denver at New Jersey
(Friday, March 21st)
Final Score: Denver 125, New Jersey 114
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Allen Iverson finished with 26 points and nine assists, and the Denver Nuggets used a strong fourth quarter to beat New Jersey, 125-114, at the IZOD Center.
Linas Kleiza had 23 points off the bench, while Marcus Camby had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which broke a two-game losing streak. Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin each chipped in 17 points.
"I thought our bench was fantastic. As the game wore on and on Iverson's penetration gave more and more trouble," Nuggets head coach George Karl said. "If our bench didn't show up like they did, big, I don't know if we win the game."
The Nuggets came into the game on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff race, and are now 1 1/2 games behind Golden State for the eighth and final spot. The Warriors lost at home to Houston Friday night.
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 32 points, while Richard Jefferson scored 29 for the Nets, who have lost two of three. New Jersey fell out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and sits half a game behind idle Atlanta.
Denver entered the fourth quarter ahead by just three points, but started the stanza with an 11-0 run that ultimately decided the game. Iverson began the surge with a layup, Kleiza had back-to-back jumpers, and Eduardo Najera capped it with a three-pointer, giving the Nuggets a 104-90 lead three minutes in.
The Nuggets held the margin, as the Nets struggled to cut their deficit to single digits. A Jefferson three-point play with 4:09 left brought New Jersey within 117-106. But the Nets didn't get any closer, as Denver scored the next six points and held on for the win.
Denver closed the first quarter on an 8-2 surge to take a 33-25 lead. The Nuggets then extended their lead to double digits in the second quarter after scoring six consecutive points.
In the span, Kleiza had a tip shot and a three-pointer -- he was 5-of-7 overall from beyond the arc -- to push the Nuggets ahead 46-34. Denver took a 67-55 lead into halftime.
"That's the situation we put ourselves in, digging the hole, especially with a team like that, that pride themselves on transition," Carter said. "We put ourselves back in the game, but we just had to play perfect from there and play past fatigue."
The Nets fell further behind in the third quarter before storming back with a 12-0 run, comprised solely of layups and dunks. Jefferson had a pair of slams, and Carter's dunk ended the scoring surge, bringing New Jersey within 78-73 halfway through the stanza.
New Jersey took the lead later in the quarter, as a pair of Carter free throws pushed the Nets in front, 90-89, with 1:11 on the clock.
But Iverson and J.R. Smith closed the stanza with a pair of free throws each, giving Denver a 93-90 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets shot 53.9 percent from the field, compared to the Nets' 50.6 percent mark...The Nets out-rebounded the Nuggets, 46-34...Denver committed just nine turnovers, compared to New Jersey's 18.
03/22 01:16:03 ET