Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Friday, December 15th
Nuggets114Final
Celtics119
Game 2: Tuesday, December 26th
Celtics105Final
Nuggets116

Celtics 105

(10-16, 6-6 away)

Nuggets 116

(15-10, 8-5 home)

Coverage: ALT

7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2006

Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

1 2 3 4 T
BOS 25 22 31 27105
DEN 27 30 31 28116

Top Performers

Bos: A. Jefferson 16 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

Den: A. Iverson 28 Pts, 2 Reb, 13 Ast, 4 Stl

Iverson's double-double sparks Nuggets past Celtics

DENVER (AP) -- Nuggets forward Reggie Evans said it was going to take time for everything to come together under the leadership of Allen Iverson.

Try two games.

Elias Says
Allen Iverson
Iverson
Allen Iverson dished out 13 assists in his second game for the Nuggets, a 116-105 win over the Celtics. Iverson had 10 assists in his Denver debut and is just the third player in NBA history to reach double-digit assists in each of his first two games for a team he joined mid-season. The others are Kenny Anderson for the 1995-96 Hornets and Mack Calvin for the 1976-77 Nuggets.

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Iverson had 28 points and 13 assists in Denver's 116-105 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

"I'd say we're real comfortable with him now," said Evans, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds coming off the bench.

Iverson picked up his second double-double -- and first win -- since being acquired by Denver for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks in 2007 on Dec. 19.

He and backcourt mate Earl Boykins, who may be the smallest tandem in the league, ran the Celtics around the court all evening. Boykins finished with 28 points as well.

"Earl and I are just playing good together," Iverson said. "I just wanted to make it easy for him and make it easier for everybody."

Iverson definitely made it easier for everybody. Iverson had permission from Nuggets coach George Karl to shoot more and pass less.

But he preferred to get his teammates involved.

"That's why he's a great teammate," said Eduardo Najera, who had 16 points and 11 boards. "His leadership is helping us a lot."

Had things gone differently, Iverson could've been a member of the Celtics, who were also in the running for his skills. The Celtics certainly saw what they missed out on Tuesday night.

"I honestly just have a lot of respect for the Boston organization and for them being interested in me in the way they were," Iverson said. "You always have to feel good about somebody wanting your talent. If that had happened, I would have given them the same thing that I'm going to give the Denver Nuggets organization -- just playing hard."

The Nuggets needed Iverson's energy with Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith missing for the third game after receiving their suspensions for their roles in a brawl with the New York Knicks on Dec. 16. Denver is now 2-1 since Anthony was suspended 15 games and Smith for 10.

"Until Melo and J.R. are back on the court, Earl and A.I. are going to have a lot of responsibility," said Karl, who earned the 799th win of his career. He has a chance for No. 800 against a team he used to coach, the Seattle SuperSonics, on Thursday. "It was sure fun to watch."

Boston coach Doc Rivers was missing Paul Pierce for the second straight game with a left foot injury and Wally Szczerbiak with a right ankle sprain. Delonte West, who started in place of Sebastian Telfair, had to be helped off the court just before halftime when he rolled off Boykins and fell on his back.

West started the second half but came out soon after. He finished with 11 points.

Tony Allen scored 18 points for Boston. He had a career-high 30 points against Denver 11 days ago. Al Jefferson had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, while Gerald Green added 18 points.

"I thought the effort was great, the execution was poor," Rivers said. "Our defense was disappointing."

After Iverson's debut against Sacramento on Friday night, Karl encouraged the point guard to be less unselfish. In his first game, Iverson preferred to get his new teammates involved, having just arrived in town with only a rudimentary knowledge of the offense.

But he won't be bashful any longer. He has three practices under his belt.

"I got it," Iverson said of the offense. "This is the system that I always wanted to play in -- just run, run, run all the time."

Run and run some more was exactly what Denver did against Boston.

"You can't let them relax," Iverson said. "We just want to run (teams) down all the time."

Game notes


The Nuggets' snowed-out game with Phoenix on Dec. 20 has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, at the Pepsi Center. ... Anthony's return from suspension will be Jan. 22 at home against Memphis. ... Boston rookie Leon Powe was a second-round pick by Denver and traded on draft night for a future second-round pick. Powe had five points. ... Nene, who chipped his tooth in the first quarter, grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 12. ... Denver had four players with double-doubles for the first time since April 13, 2001, against Golden State.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BOS
DEN
Points 105 116
FGM-FGA 42-93 (.452) 40-90 (.444)
3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 7-13 (.538)
FTM-FTA 17-27 (.630) 29-43 (.674)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-48 20-53
Assists 21 25
Turnovers 17 15
Steals 10 10
Blocks 12 5
Fast Break Points 19 32
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (0/1) 17 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 16

Top Performers

Boston
Denver
Al Jefferson Jefferson
Points: 16
Reb: 15
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 28
Reb: 2
Ast: 13
Stl: 4
Blk: 0