‘Melo returns, teams with A.I. for Denver win over Memphis
Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony combined for
51 points in their first game as Denver teammates, as the Nuggets pounced on
Memphis early for a 115-98 victory.
Anthony returned from a 15-game suspension for hitting New York’s Mardy
Collins in the infamous brawl with the Knicks on December 16th at Madison
Square Garden. While Anthony was absent, the Nuggets acquired Iverson from
Philadelphia, but the two had to wait over a month before playing together.
“I had a lot of fun. I was like a kid in a candy store,” Anthony said. “We
just wanted to show the whole world we could play together. Once we get our
step together, we’re going to be trouble.”
The two clicked on all cylinders Monday, with Anthony leading the way with 28
points, while Iverson had 23 and seven assists. Marcus Camby also played a big
role in Denver’s fourth straight win with 17 points and 17 rebounds.
“That was fun out there tonight,” Iverson said. “It’s one that I will cherish
for the rest of my life. The atmosphere was great.”
The Nuggets built a 20-point lead after the opening quarter.
Pau Gasol totaled 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for the Grizzlies,
who suffered their 10th straight road loss. Chucky Atkins added 15 points for
Memphis, which lost for the seventh time in the last nine overall. The
Grizzlies fell to 2-21 all time at the Pepsi Center.
“We beat a talented team, but a team that isn’t playing well right now,”
Nuggets coach George Karl said. “The speed and pace of the game was to our
The night belonged to the dynamic duo of Anthony and Iverson and the two
filled up the highlight reel, especially with a sequence midway through the
Iverson knocked down a three-pointer for a 101-82 margin with 6:53 left. Then,
after Nene blocked a layup try by Atkins, Iverson ran the fast break to
perfection, lobbing the ball up to Anthony, who threw the ball down
emphatically with his right hand for an alley-oop jam.
It was the first of three straight alley-oop dunks. Nene got into the act off
an assist from Steve Blake, and the Anthony-Iverson combination struck again.
Anthony and Iverson were both taken out of the game with 4:11 left to a
rousing ovation. Anthony also had five rebounds and six assists, going
10-of-25 from the field. Iverson went 9-of-16 from the floor.
“For someone who hasn’t played 15 games, he looked like an All-Star to me,”
Iverson said of Anthony. “That was a total team effort tonight. Everybody came
to play. If we play defense, it will be tough to beat us because we can
J.R. Smith had 19 points for the Nuggets, who forced 20 turnovers.
Rudy Gay tallied 12 points and Hakim Warrick 11 for Memphis.
Anthony received a big cheer before the start of the game and before tip-off
thanked the fans for sticking with him through the suspension. He missed his
first shot, but after an offensive rebound by Camby, threw down an alley-oop
jam for the game’s first points.
Two free throws from Anthony made it 10-2 and 13 straight points by Denver to
end the quarter turned it into a rout. Denver led 59-47 at the half, but
Memphis made a run, getting within five early in the third. Damon Stoudamire’s
layup moved the Grizzlies to a 64-59 deficit.
Gasol’s layup had Memphis within 69-63 with 6:04 left in the third, but Denver
rattled off an 11-1 run to take control. It was 88-70 going into the fourth.
Memphis’ last road win was at Boston, December 6…Iverson is six points shy
of 20,000 for his career…Nene had 11 points…The Nuggets went 7-8 without
Anthony in the lineup…The Grizzlies have surrendered at least 100 points in
their last 18 games, a club record…Memphis’ Mike Miller, who was held to
five points on 2-of-11 shooting, made a three-pointer in his 21st straight
game, a Grizzlies record…Blake had 12 assists.