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Iverson, Anthony get help from bench as Nuggets top Magic

Mar 1, 2007 - 6:42 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Top guns Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony finally have some backup.

While the two superstars combined for 57 points, the supporting cast chipped in for the second straight game as the Denver Nuggets posted a 111-101 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Reserves Eduardo Najera and Linas Kleiza combined for 32 points and Marcus Camby added 10, seven rebounds and six assists for the Nuggets, who had six double-figure scorers en route to their second straight win.

"(The key was) playing unselfish," Kleiza said. "We keep running, keep fighting. I think out of transition was the best. We definitely ran a lot in the fourth quarter, we don't do that too often."

Iverson and Anthony have put up numbers since being paired after Denver acquired the four-time scoring champion from Philadelphia earlier this season. However, the Nuggets' supporting cast has been silent until Nene stepped up on Monday, teaming with the All-Star duo to total 85 points.

"Finding that rhythm with AI (Iverson) and Melo's touches is going to be a challenge, but they are both great players," Denver coach George Karl said. "I'm pretty sure they understand we need everybody to play well. I think we are all happy with Nene's play, and (Kleiza) is growing. Marcus and Steve Blake are kind of our quarterbacks and we passed the ball much better tonight."

On Wednesday, it was more of the same. Iverson and Anthony combined to shoot 21-of-44 from the field and 14-of-17 from the free-throw line. But with the defense focused on both, they were able to set up their teammates all night.

"He came out and caught fire. He was a big reason why we won the game tonight," Iverson said. "Not just his scoring, but his defense and getting in the passing lanes and stealing the ball, getting into the open court and starting our break. Something we haven't been doing."

Iverson admitted he was enjoying himself when his squad got on a roll, playing to the crowd after a few big baskets.

"Just having fun," Iverson said. "That's something I used to do in Philly, and when I did it in Philly, it used to get the crowd excited. When things go well, that's what I do."

Kleiza shot 5-of-8 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from the arc, and Najera was 8-of-9 as the Nuggets shot 50 percent (42-of-84).

Leading by three points with 9:12 left, Denver went on a 17-7 run, capped by Anthony's jumper with 4:17 remaining to make it 101-88.

All-Star Dwight Howard had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who shot 49 percent (39-of-80) to absorb their fifth defeat in their last six games.

"We are a young team, we are going to make mistakes," Howard said. "The only thing we can do is keep playing. I'm going to get double-teams, there are going to be turnovers, I know that. Some guys stepped up off the bench for them tonight."

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