for this game

Iverson dishes, Kleiza swishes as Nuggets top Lakers-

Mar 16, 2007 - 7:24 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Linas Kleiza likes Allen Iverson's new style of play.Kleiza scored a career-high 29 points and Iverson collected 14and 13 assists as the Denver Nuggets posted their third straightwin, a 113-86 victory over the spiraling Los Angeles Lakers,who lost their season-high seventh straight game.Carmelo Anthony added 26 points for the Nuggets, who werehitting on all cylinders, shooting 54 percent (41-of-76) fromthe field and 10-of-15 on 3-pointers.But it was the effort on the other end of the court that sparkedthe victory."I think in the second half, in order for us to win this game,we had to do it on the defensive end," Anthony said. "We didthat, we took the challenge."Denver has struggled to jell since acquiring Iverson fromPhiladelphia earlier in the season. But the Nuggets (32-31) nowhave moved percentage points ahead of the Lakers (33-32) forsixth place in the Western Conference."I think it was a statement game for us, to see where we are atagainst a team like that," Anthony said. "We knew the Lakerswere going to come in and try to fight after losing six in arow. We just wanted to keep our composure and take care of ourhome court."Over the years, Iverson has been accused of dominating the balland ignoring his teammates. But the four-time scoring championis showing that, with the right supporting cast, he can be atalented distributor."If I would have only scored 14 points in Philly, we probablywould have lost," Iverson said. "It's great to see other guyspick it up when I'm not scoring. I've scored over 20,000 pointsand have only been to the Finals one time."The situation I'm in right now will allow me the opportunity toget another chance I think. I'll do whatever it takes to win achampionship here."The superstar guard was just 4-of-15 from the field but made animpact on the game without scoring. He continued to find openshots for Kleiza, who was 10-of-13 from the field, including5-of-6 from the arc."It was just one of those games, balls were finding me and shotswere going down," Kleiza said. "(Carmelo) and AI (Iverson)were doing a great job sharing the ball. It's not aboutnational TV, my game has just been coming along. My minutes areincreasing and my production's increasing."The 6-8 swingman also scored 24 points at Sacramento on Monday -his second-best scoring output of the season.Superstar Kobe Bryant scored 25 points for the Lakers, whomatched the third-longest losing streak in club annals. The1991-1992 squad lost seven in a row, one behind the 2004-05club. Neither of those teams made the playoffs."We have to sustain it. We feel like we did OK in the firsthalf," Bryant said. "We had fourteen points off of seventurnovers and we feel like when we take care of the basketballwe're in pretty good shape."Los Angeles forward Luke Walton collected 13 points, sevenrebounds and six assists in his first game back after missing 21with a right ankle sprain."I haven't played a real game in six weeks," Walton said. "Thereare a lot of things we need to fix as a team over these nextcouple weeks. It's a challenge, but we should be able to do ourthing though."Fellow forward Lamar Odom also returned, scoring just ninepoints on 4-of-11 shooting."I think we played a lot better getting Lamar back and Luke andback and we showed flashes of some of the things we are capableof doing in the first half," Bryant said. "We need to build onthat."We really want to make some noise in the playoffs. What wehave to do is build with the unit we have here. Obviously, Lukeand Lamar need to get back into basketball shape and when thathappens we'll feel pretty good."

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