for this game

Iverson's 33 points sends Nuggets to victory

Dec 7, 2007 - 6:04 AM By Royce Wall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets could not manage a win despite 51 points from Allen Iverson on Wednesday. So they decided to share the load one day later.

Iverson scored 33 points and Linas Kleiza added a season-high 23 off the bench for the Nuggets en route to a 122-109 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

In its 111-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Denver saw only Iverson and Carmelo Anthony score more than 10 points to lose for the fourth time in its last six games. In this contest, four Nuggets scored at least 18 points.

"I was just trying to do what I could do to for my team to win basketball games," Iverson said. "I knew it was going to be tough to come in after playing 48 minutes last night, but once you get on the court, you don't think about that, just the love for the game and the fact that you're trying to do it for your team. It's just a challenge that you always step up for."

"Allen was amazing tonight," Kleiza said. "We needed to step up and help him tonight. We did a good job. (My teammates) had some big games."

After leading since early in the first quarter, Denver allowed Dallas back into the game as Jerry Stackhouse completed a 15-4 run when he hit a layup to tie the game at 82-82 at the 3:29 mark of the third period.

Dallas stayed within two points over the next minute before Iverson, Kleiza and Anthony combined to score Denver's next 16 points to push a tie game into an eight-point lead at 102-94.

"We understand that the only way we're going to win basketball games is to get stops," Iverson said. "Some nights our offense is going to win games for us because we are talented in that area, but we understand that some nights we're not going to be able to score and we've got to get stops to win basketball games. We've got to win games ugly.

"Hopefully, this is a sign of us just getting better as a defensive team. I don't think we're worrying about our offense too much. We've been concentrating on defense this year."

Dallas did not see it as Denver playing great defense. The Mavericks saw it as their own sloppiness.

"I thought we kept turning the ball over all night long," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We had like 20 turnovers. Against a running team, that's tough. They're right back in transition getting layups, getting open looks and A.I. (Iverson) - whenever we had a run - he was terrific tonight."

The Nuggets increased the lead to as many as 16 points after Kleiza nailed a 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining.

"I came off the bench, guys got me involved early, I was able to hit my shots and I kept going from there," Kleiza said.

"We knew he (Kleiza) could shoot the ball but A.I. had it going all night," Nowitzki said. "We tried to double-team him some. It's tough to try to double-team a little guard like that. He was beating double-teams and finding shooters. That's what happened."

Anthony scored 23 points and Kenyon Martin added 18 for the Nuggets, who won for the first time in six tries in American Airlines Center and for only the second time in their last 20 visits to Dallas.

"We needed this win," Kleiza said. "Especially (when) we haven't won in this building in a long time. Beating a great team (like that) in (the second half of a) back-to-back game, we definitely made a big step."

Nowitzki scored 32 points to pace the Mavericks, who lost for only the second time at home this season.

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