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Iverson, Anthony team up as Nuggets top Trail Blazers

Mar 14, 2007 - 5:38 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson finally got a chance to team up against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Iverson had 31 points and 10 assists and Anthony added 29 and eight rebounds as the Denver Nuggets posted their second straight win, a 107-99 victory over the Trail Blazers.

Marcus Camby had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets (31-31), who hold the seventh spot in the Western Conference just one game behind the sliding Los Angeles Lakers (33-31) and two in front of the eighth-place Los Angeles Clippers (29-34).

Despite the win, Denver coach George Karl was frustrated with his team's play.

"We had to play probably the top five teams in the league after the All-Star break, which probably was unfair," Karl said. "We still have some tough teams yet to play. Hopefully, that is going to make us better. There was a time in the third quarter when I wanted to take out all five players and put in five new players. That really would have been bad if I had to do that, but that's how angry I was in that third quarter."

Anthony was serving a 15-game suspension for his role in a December brawl against New York when Denver and Portland first met on January 14. Iverson scored 32 points in a 109-93 win.

The four-time scoring champion was sidelined with an ankle injury in the next two encounters with the Blazers, opening the door for Anthony, the league's top scorer, to score 33 points in both matchups. The teams split those contests.

On Tuesday, however, they got a chance to do it together. The duo combined to shoot 18-of-42 from the field and 23-of-28 from the free-throw line. Anthony and Iverson, who have struggled to mesh, played well together - attacking the paint at will and putting pressure on the defense.

"First of all, it feels good to get a win. It always feels good to win basketball games," Anthony said. "Especially the other day in Sacramento, that was a big momentum swing for us. Winning on the road, winning in Sacramento, and coming here tonight and taking care of business on our home court. We've been struggling a little bit on our home court, so hopefully we can take the confidence and momentum from these two games into Thursday (vs. Los Angeles Lakers)."

But it was the effort on the other end of the court that has sparked the Nuggets.

"Just the intensity on defense and wanting to do it and believing we can do it," Iverson said. "Taking it as a personal challenge."

Iverson admitted that playing as a two-guard has helped him.

"It's always fun when you can get the ball off the board and just take off running and take advantage of the guys not getting back," Iverson said. "I think you've got to take your hat off to the rest of the guys on the squad for just getting out and running with me.

"A lot of times coach talks about me beating people down the court when I have the ball, but tonight that wasn't the case. Guys were beating me down the court and I was just finding guys and they were doing a great job finishing."

Zach Randolph had 26 points and eight rebounds and rookie LaMarcus Aldridge collected 24 and 17 for Portland, which shot 43 percent (38-of-84) to absorb its third loss in its last four games.

As a result of sloppy play, the Blazers were outscored by the Nuggets, 34-23, in the third quarter.

"Our first half was poorly played," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Anytime you start off with five turnovers in the first period and fourteen by halftime, you are going to dig yourself a hole. Playing against professional teams, and you make that many mistakes early in the game, you find yourself in the place where we were."

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