Published 12:00 am Monday, January 29, 2007
DENVER — Carmelo Anthony’s suspension is over. Let the suspense begin.
The day after the NBA’s leading scorer was banned for 15 games for fighting, the Denver Nuggets acquired seven-time All-Star Allen Iverson, who was the league’s second-leading scorer at the time.
Can two high-scoring superstars coexist?
Sure, Iverson said, insisting he’s carried the load for so long in his career that he’s ready to serve as wingman to the
“I’ve never played with nobody that good,” Iverson said.
Anthony hasn’t, either, and he, too, swears there won’t be any problems playing alongside A.I. After all, he thrived with the U.S. team at the world championships last summer while playing with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Anthony, who returns from his 36-day absence tonight when the Nuggets face the Memphis Grizzlies at the Pepsi Center, will return to a lineup that’s much different from the one he last saw on Dec. 16, when he clocked New York Knicks guard Mardy Collins, leading to a brawl that resulted in 10 ejections and seven suspensions.
The day after the suspensions were handed down, the Nuggets sent Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round draft picks to Philadelphia for Iverson. Then, they dealt Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge to Milwaukee for Steve Blake, who helped the Nuggets win their last three games to finish 7-8 without Anthony.
Coach George Karl has spent countless hours concocting plays to complement both his superstars.
“They are both great offensive players,” Karl said. “I’m not into this (notion) that it won’t work. I think great players like to play with great players. Sometimes it’s not as perfect and fluid as the San Antonio Spurs or teams like that. But normally in time you can figure that if they will cooperate and move the ball and pass the ball, good stuff will happen.”
MIAMI — Jerry Stackhouse scored 16 of his 23 points in the final quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks withstood a rally by the Miami Heat for a 99-93 win.
Josh Howard had 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points and 11 rebounds for Dallas, which improved its NBA-best record to 34-8 and won for the 20th time in its last 21 games.
Spurs 99, 76ers 85
PHILADELPHIA — Tim Duncan had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Brent Barry scored 23 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 99-85 win.
Suns 131, T-Wolves 102
PHOENIX — Shawn Marion scored 17 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, then sat out the fourth quarter as the Phoenix Suns won their 13th in a row.