Draft mates Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony went head to head Monday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Denver Nuggets. King James and Melo were the game headliners but Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith stole the spotlight after they combined for 66 points in a 122-100 Nuggets victory against the Cavs. Iverson finished the game with a season-high 37 points and 8 assists while Smith added 29 points. Melo finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds and Kenyon Martin added 6 points and 5 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
King James once again led his team in scoring when he finished with 27 points. The Cavs didn’t have a consistent scorer throughout the game. Aside from James, only two Cavs players were in double figures, Ira Newble finished with 17 points while Shannon Brown added 12. The inconsistent Daniel Gibson only had 7 points while Larry Hughes only had 3 points before he got ejected. Hughes felt that he was fouled in the second quarter when he missed a 3 pointer and had some words with a referee. The referee was quick to give him two technical fouls consequently ejecting him from the game.
The confidence in the Nuggets was high after coming from a big win against the Indiana Pacers last weekend. They were down 25 points in Indiana when they rallied in the second half to secure the win. They used the momentum and confidence from the previous win to fuel them against the Cavs.
Allen Iverson caught his rhythm and shot 14-20 from the field. He had 18 points in the first half when the Nuggets led 58-43. He was hot at the start of the second half, and scored 11 points in just six minutes, including two 3 pointers which pushed the Nuggets lead to 78-51.
The Denver Nuggets holds a 5-3 record in the Northwest while the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 4-4 record in the Central Division.