77 - 80 Final
  for this game

Iverson helps Nuggets edge Spurs

Jan 4, 2008 - 5:49 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson scored 29 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 17 and nine rebounds as the Denver Nuggets held on for an 80-77 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Marcus Camby dominated the glass with 18 boards in helping the Nuggets earn their fourth win in five games despite blowing a 16-point advantage in the second quarter.

"It wasn't a good looking win, but we'll take it," Anthony said. "We're just letting everybody know we can play with the best out there."

In the fourth quarter, Eduardo Najera scored on an easy layup and Iverson added a pair of free throws as Denver extended its lead to 67-61 at the 8:14 mark.

But San Antonio battled back to grab the advantage with an impressive 16-6 surge that was capped by Tony Parker's layup with 1:42 left to make it 77-73.

However, Anthony Carter connected on a 3-pointer, then found Kenyon Martin for a layup to give the Nuggets the lead for good with 45 seconds remaining.

"(Carter) made big plays," Iverson said. "That was a big 3, but even a better pass to Kenyon, finding him underneath like that. Everybody talks about Carmelo and myself, but there are so many other guys that can do things. We trust them and believe in them."

"Anthony Carter hit a big 3," Parker said. "I thought we played pretty good defense on that particular play. It didn't happen. It's about details, and they didn't go our way."

The defending champions had a chance to regain the lead, but Martin blocked Parker's shot attempt and Bruce Bowen misfired from 20 feet 20 seconds later.

After Iverson hit a pair from the line to push Seattle's lead to three, San Antonio still had one last try to force overtime, but Michael Finley's 3-pointer was off-target at the horn.

"I didn't really have a good look at it," Finley said. "Camby is long and he contested my shot well. I pretty much threw it up, hoping."

Parker and Tim Duncan each netted 20 points and Finley added 18 for the Spurs, who were without Manu Ginobili for the fourth straight game due to sprained index finger.

"I thought we worked hard to get back in the game after going down both in the first and the second half," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We just came up short."