Iverson leads balanced attack as Nuggets beat NetsMar 22, 2008 - 5:07 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- All-Star Allen Iverson knows there isn't much time left for the Denver Nuggets to make a serious push.
Iverson scored 26 points to lead five others in double figures as the Nuggets posted a 125-114 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday.
Linas Kleiza poured in 23 points off the bench and Carmelo Anthony and former Net Kenyon Martin scored 17 each for the Nuggets (41-28), who are just 1 1/2 games behind Golden State (42-26) for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
While Denver gained ground in its postseason push for the moment, New Jersey (29-40) fell out of the eighth spot in the East, allowing idle Atlanta (29-39) to move one-half game ahead.
With Denver holding an impressive 17-point lead early in the third quarter, Vince Carter netted 11 points during a 27-8 surge to give New Jersey an 88-86 edge with 1:39 remaining.
"That's the situation we put ourselves in, digging the hole, especially with a team like that, that pride themselves on transition," Carter said. "We put ourselves back in the game, but we just had to play perfect from there and play past fatigue."
But the Nuggets responded right back with a game-changing 14-2 burst that was capped by J.R. Smith's 3-pointer at the 10:07 mark in the fourth.
"I thought our bench was fantastic. As the game wore on and on, Iverson's penetration gave more and more trouble," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "If our bench didn't show up like they did, big, I don't know if we win the game."
The opening half belonged to Denver, which shot a blistering 60 percent (27-of-45) from the field en route to a 67-55 cushion at halftime. Anthony, Martin and Kleiza combined for 38 points.
Carter dazzled with 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 29 for the Nets, who hope to end their eight-game road slide on Saturday at Philadelphia.
NEW JERSEY 114 FINAL
Mar 21 9:59 PM
NEW JERSEY 90 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 21 9:28 PM
NEW JERSEY 55 HALFTIME
Mar 21 8:45 PM
NEW JERSEY 25 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 21 8:08 PM
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