Allen Iverson was quiet early, then reminded the Portland Trail Blazers why he's an All-Star.
Iverson scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, including a game-winning fade-away with less than a second left in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-103 on Monday night.
Denver led by as many as 17 in the first half but surrendered the lead in the third quarter. Iverson said a 35-foot 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer, that tied it at 78, was the turning point.
"I hadn't hit anything all game, and then I make the bomb at the end of the third. I've been around long enough to know to keep on playing and fighting and that's what I did."
Iverson's 10-foot jumper gave the Nuggets an 82-81 lead in the fourth quarter against Portland. J.R. Smith added a 3-pointer and Linas Kleiza's dunk extended the lead to six.
It was short-lived, however, and the Blazers went back ahead when Jarrett Jack's layup and free throw made it 90-89.
Portland held on to a narrow lead down the stretch, but the Nuggets kept it close and Iverson's 3-pointer put Denver up 100-99 with 39.4 seconds left.
Portland forward Travis Outlaw was fouled with 2.9 seconds remaining, and made one of two free throws to tie it at 100. Iverson's desperation 3-point attempt missed to send the game into overtime.
Both teams were largely ineffective from the floor in OT until Iverson's shot fell with 0.9 seconds left.
"I was working off a pick, hoping for a layup, but I drove hard left and got a really good look at it and it went down," Iverson said.
After a timeout, Brandon Roy missed a 3-point attempt. Roy finished with 26 points for Portland.
Carmelo Anthony, an All-Star starter along with Iverson, led the Nuggets with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Iverson finished with 25 points.
Anthony was playing in his second game since returning from a sprained left ankle. He had 25 points and 10 rebounds Saturday in Denver's 117-107 victory over Charlotte.
The Blazers were coming off a 94-88 overtime victory over the New York Knicks. Roy had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the game for his first career triple-double.
"This was a tough game. But our last few games have been really close. The intensity has been really high," Roy said. "It is tough any time you lose on a buzzer-beater.
The Nuggets were without center Marcus Camby for the second straight game because of a left knee contusion.
"Just because it's an important game doesn't mean we want to get crazy and put him in for a long period of time," Denver coach George Karl said.
Portland drops three games back of Utah in the Western Conference's Northwest Division. The Nuggets are a game back.
Eduardo Najera returned to the lineup for the Nuggets. He missed the game against the Bobcats because of a rib strain.
The Blazers were without James Jones, one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, because of pain in his left knee.
Jones, who missed a dozen games at the start of the season with pain in the same knee, was expected to miss at least six games.
The Blazers got off to a slow start, and couldn't hit a shot from the floor until Channing Frye's 22-foot jumper with 4:45 left in the first quarter.
Anthony Carter's layup gave the Nuggets a 33-17 lead.
But the Blazers went on a 16-3 run, capped by Steve Blake's 3-pointer, to cut it to 40-36 and get the Rose Garden crowd on its feet.
The Nuggets led 50-44 at the break, but Portland opened the second half with 3-consecutive 3-pointer pointers. The Blazers led by as many as seven points until Iverson's big 3-pointer at the buzzer tied it going into the fourth.
Martell Webster added 17 points for the Blazers and Travis Outlaw had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Portland has lost just six of 25 home games this season.
"It was playoff intensity, playoff attitude," Karl said. Notes:
The Blazers recalled rookie forward Josh McRoberts from the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede. ... Iverson was 2-for-11 from the field in the first half. ... Portland and Denver split the season series. ... The Nuggets are 2-0 in overtime games.
A.I. shoots down Blazers