Iverson leads Nuggets past Rockets in overtimeJan 21, 2007 - 6:30 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson extended the Denver Nuggets' winning streak as they anticipate Carmelo Anthony's long awaited return.
Iverson scored 36 points and dished out 10 assists to lead the Nuggets to their third straight victory, a 121-113 overtime triumph over the Houston Rockets.
A four-time scoring champion, Iverson scored six points during an 8-0 run that tied the game, 108-108, and sent it to overtime. Denver held the final possession in regulation and Iverson passed to a wide-open Marcus Camby, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Rockets did not score over the final 2:48 as they missed their final six shots. Superstar Tracy McGrady attempted a jumper with six seconds left on Houston's final possession in regulation.
"It was a sweet win," Iverson said. "It was just determination. We buckled down on defense. We knew the only way we were going to get back in that game was to make some stops. That's the only way we're going to be successful. The second half I couldn't throw a rock in the ocean. But J.R. (Smith) started to get hot. (Houston) started taking ill-advised shots."
Iverson banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 3:19 remaining to give the Nuggets a 111-108 advantage. Denver never looked back.
"We had the momentum going into overtime and that (3-pointer) was a momentum shot," Iverson said. "The first basket in overtime is big."
The Nuggets went 7-8 during Anthony's 15-game suspension for his involvement in a brawl with the New York Knicks on December 16. Anthony, who returns Monday vs. Memphis, was the NBA's leading scorer at the time of the suspension.
"It will be a lot different," Iverson said. "I'll have a chance to play with a guy (Anthony) on a talent level I've never played with. Winning a championship is all I think about. He's been their leader (in Denver)."
"We can't complain about how we did while he was out," Nuggets coach George Karl said of Anthony. "Now it's time to get the 15 games out of our system and get ready for Carmelo to come back."
Smith scored 24 points off the bench and Camby added 12 and 22 rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 46 percent (41-of-89), including 15-of-29 from 3-point range.
McGrady, who missed Wednesday's game with a sore lower back, collected 24 points and 10 assists but shot just 9-of-25 from the floor.
"It's definitely frustration," McGrady said. "It was just a game where pretty much, if we played like this, we should have stayed at home. We didn't do anything right on the defensive end. I think we were rattled a little bit (offensively). I think they upped their intensity on defense and took us out of our comfort zone. It busted up our plays a couple of times. We played no defense.
"Any team that scores that many points, we didn't play any defense. It's just very disappointing for us to show up this way."
Juwan Howard totaled 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who shot 45 percent (43-of-96).
"We got exactly what we deserved," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "They got what they deserved because they worked and we got what we deserved because we didn't. The last four games defensively, we're not willing to do what it takes to win. Defense and rebounding have been real disappointing. (The Rockets) were softened up by praise.
"The lack of work started in the first half. After the first four or five minutes our defense was very disappointing."
HOUSTON 113 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Jan 20 11:18 PM
END OF REG 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DENVER 25 28 24 31 108
HOUSTON 31 27 28 22 108 END OF REG
NBA DENVER AT HOUSTON
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 4TH QUARTER
DEN - ALLEN IVERSON 32, J.R. SMITH 21, - NENE
HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 24, JUWAN HOWARD 19, RAFER
Jan 20 11:03 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DENVER 25 28 24 77
HOUSTON 31 27 28 86 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
DEN - ALLEN IVERSON 24, - NENE 14, LINAS
HOU - JUWAN HOWARD 17, TRACY MCGRADY 17, RAFER
Jan 20 10:24 PM
HOUSTON 58 HALFTIME
Jan 20 9:39 PM
HOUSTON 31 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 20 9:08 PM
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