Iverson scores 26 as Nuggets beat Nets

March 21, 2008 7:20:11 PM PDT
Allen Iverson had 26 points and nine assists and led a fourth-quarter spurt that carried the Denver Nuggets to a 125-114 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night.Backup forward Linas Kleiza added 23 points and Marcus Camby had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Former Net Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony had 17 points apiece for Denver.

Vince Carter scored 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 29 for the Nets, who fell a half-game behind idle Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Devin Harris added 16 points and 13 assists for New Jersey, which lost at home for the third time in 11 games.

Denver won the hard way, blowing a 17-point third-quarter lead and then taking command with an 18-1 spurt that bridged the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth.

Trailing 78-61 early in the third quarter, Carter led a 27-8 spurt that put New Jersey ahead 88-86 when Harris hit two free throws with 1:39 left in the quarter.

Kleiza, who was 9-of-11 from the field, took some of the steam out of the Nets with the fourth of his five 3-pointers, putting Denver ahead 89-88.

Carter, who had 13 points in the quarter, hit two free throws to give the Nets their last lead at 90-89 with 1:11 to go.

Iverson and JR Smith each hit two free throws in the final minute to put Denver ahead 93-90 entering the final quarter.

The start of the fourth quarter belonged to the Nuggets. Iverson, who only had five points in the first half, hit driving layups and Kleiza hit a floater in the lane and a drive to push the advantage to 101-90. Eduardo Najera hit a 3-pointer and Iverson converted a three-point play after Carter hit a free throw for a 107-91 lead.

New Jersey never got close again.