Iverson, Nuggets coast past SonicsFeb 28, 2008 - 6:44 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SEATTLE (Ticker) - Allen Iverson scored 31 points and Kenyon Martin added 23 as the Denver Nuggets ended their three-game losing streak with a convincing 138-96 victory over the struggling Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday.
Carmelo Anthony netted 16 points and Marcus Camby had 12, 14 rebounds and five blocks for the Nuggets, who improved to 34-23 on the season in the race for the eight and final playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference race.
"I've never seen it like this in my 12 years in the league," Camby said. "You really can't afford any slippage and, right now, we are on the outside looking in. It's going to be tough. It's going to go down to the wire and we have to make sure we are in it."
Denver's 138 points was the most in the league this season, eclipsing the 137 scored by the Phoenix Suns against the Nuggets on January 7. The Nuggets also wound up shooting a franchise-best 67 percent (59-for-88) to posted the widest margin of victory in series history.
"After a while it did feel easy, and it was just because we were in a rhythm," Iverson said. "We were finding the open man. We were getting the ball to people that needed it and we just had a good rhythm on both ends of the floor."
Wednesday marked the first meeting between the clubs since Denver rolled to a 120-103 victory in Seattle rookie Kevin Durant's NBA debut on Opening Night.
The Nuggets took the lead early in the first quarter and never let up as Iverson and Anthony combined for 18 points to forge a 31-19 lead after one quarter.
"It was by far our best passing game of the year," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We had a commitment to find the open man. And there is a fatigue factor this time of year, and I think we caught the team a little bit down energy-wise."
Linas Kleiza came off the bench to take over the scoring responsibilities in the second with 10 points to help the Nuggets create a 64-45 lead at halftime.
Martin then put his mark on the contest with 13 third-quarter points to push Denver's advantage to 100-75 heading into the final period.
Durant's dunk with 4:20 remaining in the first half cut the lead to 51-40, but Denver responded with a 10-0 run to take a 61-40 lead with 1:54 to go as Martin and Kleiza each contributed a pair of baskets during the run.
"You know, we've got to some out with a lot of energy, and we didn't execute that," said Durant, who scored 16 points. "Some nights you just have to go through that and we've got to just learn and pick it up."
The Sonics played without starting guard Earl Watson, who was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection for the second straight game.
SEATTLE 96 FINAL
Feb 28 12:14 AM
SEATTLE 75 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 27 11:44 PM
SEATTLE 45 HALFTIME
Feb 27 11:03 PM
SEATTLE 19 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 27 10:34 PM
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