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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.

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.