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Denver at Los Angeles

Nuggets overcome 18-point halftime deficit, beat Clippers in overtime

CBSSports.com wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin started off show, then came up big at the end to help the Denver Nuggets pull off an impressive comeback victory.

Iverson scored nine of his 25 points in the final 3:35 of overtime and the Nuggets rallied from 18 points down at halftime to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 113-103 on Friday night.

It tied the second-biggest comeback from a halftime deficit in the Nuggets' NBA history.

"Most of the talk at halftime was just that we can play a lot better. And we had to," coach George Karl said. "If we wanted to win the game, we were going to have a special defensive effort. I don't know how many easy shots they got in the second half, but I don't remember very many."

Martin missed nine of his first 10 shots and finished with 13 points. But he also grabbed 13 rebounds, made a key defensive stop to send the game into OT and made a 3-pointer in the final minute to secure the victory. Nene added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets before fouling out for the second time in two games.

Carmelo Anthony completed a two-game suspension he received from the Nuggets, the result of his DUI arrest during the offseason. Two seasons ago, he was suspended for 15 games by the NBA for throwing a punch at New York Knicks reserve Mardy Collins during a game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 16, 2006.

Al Thornton had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers. Tim Thomas added 20 points and Chris Kaman had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

"Every loss is tough, this one especially because we had the lead," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "In the first half we were so much more active, we were playing the passing lanes and getting our hands on the ball. We just didn't do it in the second half and we gave up too many easy baskets."

Clippers point guard Baron Davis, who did most of the talking during an intense closed-door meeting following Wednesday night's season-opening 38-point loss to the Lakers, left Friday's game because of a sore left hip after going up for a defensive rebound and crashing to the floor with 9½ minutes left in the second quarter. He had six points.

"He was able to stand up and walk on his own after being injured, but I asked him if he needed to come out of the game and he said yes," Dunleavy said.

Iverson gave Denver the lead for good with a layup that started his scoring run. He hit another one 37 seconds later, then added a 19-footer for a 103-98 lead with 2:32 left in OT. He closed it out on a pair of free throws with 43 seconds to go.

"I've been struggling, as far as my offensive rhythm, and I was getting really frustrated," Iverson said. "But I was trying not to be so tough on myself, being that I didn't get a chance to play as much as I wanted to in the preseason. I didn't have any time to waste with two games on the road. Fortunately, my rhythm came back at the right time."

Trailing 55-37 at halftime, Denver narrowed the gap to 72-64 with an 11-2 spurt capped by Dahntay Jones' two free throws with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

The Nuggets got within 88-86 on a dunk by Nene with 4:55 remaining, then Iverson was hit with a technical foul from referee Brian Forte after Nene picked up his fifth foul with 3:51 to play.

Cuttino Mobley made the ensuing free throw, then Karl called a timeout to cool off Iverson.

"I wasn't going to get thrown out," Iverson said. "I've been in this league 13 years, so I know how far I can go -- especially once I get a technical. Then I know I can get a little bit more leeway to say what I've got to say. But at that time, I think it was a good timeout to take because we responded well."

Nene tied the score 90-all on a reverse layup with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter, and Iverson had a chance to put Denver ahead -- but missed a 10-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Thornton got the rebound and Thomas made an 11-footer at the other end before Linas Kleiza's two free throws tied it again with 9.4 seconds left in the fourth.

Thomas had the ball for one last shot to win it for the Clippers in regulation, but lost it out of bounds under pressure from Martin.

"The shot he made before that was a tough shot, but I was determined not to let him score again," Martin said. "That's what I'm here for. These guys believe in me on the defensive end, and Coach had the confidence in me to get me the ball again when I was open. That's why you keep working on your game, for situations like that."

Forward Marcus Camby, who spent the previous six seasons with Denver, wasn't able to play against his former teammates because of a bruised right heel.


  • Earlier Friday, the Nuggets decided not to offer Kleiza a four-year, $25 million contract extension. As a result, he will become a restricted free agent next summer.
  • The Nuggets had lost 11 of their previous 15 road games against the Clippers.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Allen Iverson comes up big in overtime, scoring nine points in the final 3 1/2 minutes.  (AP)
Allen Iverson comes up big in overtime, scoring nine points in the final 3 1/2 minutes. (AP)
Denver (1-1) «2017312619113
L.A. Clippers (0-2) 282721189103
DEN:A. Iverson 25 Pts
DEN:K. Martin 13 Reb
DEN:A. Carter 6 Ast
LAC:A. Thornton 30 Pts
LAC:C. Kaman 15 Reb
LAC:C. Mobley 3 Ast
Players of the Game
Los AngelesDenver

A. Thornton


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A. Iverson, SG479-196-1045125
K. Martin, PF394-144-4132413
A. Carter, PG384-64-446412
Nene, PF3510-152-2111622
L. Kleiza, SF292-82-29316
J. Smith, SG357-142-2102417
D. Jones, SG191-611-1220113
C. Andersen, PF161-23-45025
J. Howard, PF80-10-02010
C. Atkins, PGDid Not Play
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
R. Balkman, PFDid Not Play
S. Weems, SGDid Not Play
C. Anthony, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-8534-40601924113
Los Angeles
A. Thornton, SF4811-218-10112430
C. Kaman, C444-157-8152315
T. Thomas, PF407-164-771520
C. Mobley, SG395-183-463314
B. Davis, PG133-60-04126
J. Hart, PG291-51-12253
P. Davis, C173-83-44149
R. Davis, SG150-40-00110
M. Taylor, PG121-20-01302
B. Skinner, PF41-10-00102
E. Gordon, SG21-10-00012
M. Camby, CDid Not Play
S. Novak, SFDid Not Play
D. Jordan, CDid Not Play
Totals 37-9726-34501728103
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