Allen Iverson scored 51 points on Wednesday night, then followed it up with possibly an even better effort.
The superstar guard turned in his highest scoring effort of the season when he made 18-of-27 shots and played the entire game in a 111-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. One night later, he scored 35 on 12-of-19 shooting and added 12 assists and six steals in a 122-109 win at Dallas.
“I thought A.I. had a real good feel for the game,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “His game is to get to the free-throw line and to run. Dallas tried to get the ball out of his hands. He definitely did a good job getting the guys involved.”
And although Iverson didn’t play the whole game, he still logged nearly 43 minutes and Denver won its 15th straight game when he posts a double-double.
“He’s the Energizer bunny,” said fellow starting guard Anthony Carter. “He just doesn’t get tired. He was charged up for this game.”
Led by Iverson, Denver (12-8) put up its second-highest point total of the season. The Nuggets survived a poor night from Carmelo Anthony, who was 9-of-30 from the floor but finished with 23 points.
Linas Kleiza also provided a boost with a season-high 23 points off the bench for Denver, which outscored the Mavericks 64-36 in the point.
This is the first of three meetings this season between Denver and Sacramento after the teams split four matchups last season. The Nuggets didn’t have both Iverson and Anthony available for the losses, but the duo averaged 50.0 points in their two victories.
Sacramento (7-11) is 0-7 on the road, where it has lost by fewer than double digits only twice. The Kings are beginning a stretch in which they play six of their next seven games away from Arco Arena.
They wrapped up a 3-2 homestand by blowing an 11-point halftime lead in a 97-87 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. It was Sacramento’s first game since learning that leading scorer Kevin Martin would be out four to six weeks after straining his groin in Tuesday’s 117-107 win against Utah.
“I don’t know what to say, quite honestly,” Kings first-year coach Reggie Theus said. “We were up at halftime and I just think our guys, sometimes their tendency is to relax. You’ve got to learn to play with a lead. The energy level was zero.”
All five starters scored in double figures for Sacramento, led by Ron Artest’s 21 points, but only Mikki Moore made at least half of his shots, connecting on 5-of-10. John Salmons got the start in place of Martin—who averages 24.5 points per game—and scored only 10 on 4-of-13 shooting.
The Kings got more bad news on Friday. Veteran forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who played just 51 minutes in six games this season, had season-ending surgery on his right knee.