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Published: Tuesday, 11/13/2007

Nuggets pound Cavs


DENVER - Allen Iverson scored a season-high 37 points and J.R. Smith added 29 to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 122-100 last night.

Iverson finished 14-for-20 from the field and added eight assists, and Carmelo Anthony had 22 points and nine rebounds as the Nuggets won their third straight.

LeBron James led Cleveland, which was playing the second game of a back-to-back, with 27 points. Ira Newble added 17 points for the Cavaliers.

Iverson scored 18 in the first half and came out shooting to start the third quarter. He scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the half, including two 3-pointers as the Nuggets (5-3) built a 78-51 lead. The Nuggets led 88-68 heading into the fourth quarter.

Shannon Brown hit two jumpers to start the final period that cut Denver's lead to 88-72, but Smith hit two 3-pointers to push the lead back to 20. Linas Kleiza's 3-pointer with eight minutes left made it 105-81.

The Cavaliers trailed 21-18 after the first quarter despite shooting 25 percent. Cleveland benefited from seven Denver turnovers that helped keep the score close.

The Nuggets used a 13-2 run, highlighted by an Iverson alley-oop pass to Smith, to take a 39-24 with 5:52 left in the first half. The Cavaliers (4-4) got within 11, but two 3-pointer by Smith at the end of the second quarter gave the Nuggets a 58-43 lead at the break.

Cleveland guard Larry Hughes was ejected in the first half after referee Bill Spooner assessed him two technical fouls.

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