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Allen Iverson hasn't experienced much of a drop-off in his offensive numbers since fracturing his right ring finger, but that doesn't mean he isn't feeling pain.
Coming off one of their best offensive games of the season, Iverson and the Nuggets (39-26) return to action Sunday when they host the Seattle SuperSonics - a team they had their best shooting game in franchise history against earlier this season.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Denver –16.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 225.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Seattle +16.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Iverson, who fractured his finger on March 7 against San Antonio, has played at least 30 minutes in the four games since, and he's scored exactly 28 points in three of those. He was 9-of-12 from the field and hit all 10 free-throw attempts Friday in a 137-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in which the Nuggets posted their second-highest point total of the season - a 138-106 victory against Seattle on Feb. 27 is their highest.
Denver shot 55.3 percent from the field Friday and outscored Toronto 44-23 in the first quarter of the lopsided win.
"We weren't trying to beat them by 30, we just wanted to beat them convincingly," Iverson said.
Iverson was wearing a brace after the game for his finger, but said he won't wear it while he's on the court because he's "superstitious."
"It felt OK before the game," Iverson said. "Now, it feels that much worse. It's throbbing like a heartbeat."
Coach George Karl said he wishes he could give Iverson time off, but the Nuggets are fighting to catch Golden State for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Iverson leads the Nuggets in scoring (26.6), assists (7.9) and steals (1.9) per game.
"I don't think we can lose a (player) because of an injury the rest of the way," Karl said. "It's the time of year where we have to play like it's a playoff circumstance. Everybody is hurting a little bit - A.I. is probably at the top of the list."
Iverson has averaged 28.0 points and 10.0 assists in the first two games against Seattle (16-50) this season, scoring 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting in the win in February, when the Nuggets shot a franchise-record 67.0 percent.
The Nuggets have won nine of the last 12 meetings with the Sonics, including three straight double-digit victories.
Seattle has lost seven straight and 11 of 12, including a 121-116 loss to Minnesota on Friday. Six players scored in double figures, led by 24 points from rookie Kevin Durant and 20 from Chris Wilcox.
The Sonics shot 52.3 percent overall and led by three at the half, but Minnesota outscored them 40-28 in the third quarter, and Seattle trailed the rest of the way.
"We didn't guard anybody in the third," said Nick Collison, who had eight points and eight rebounds off the bench. "They just put their heads down and went anywhere they wanted to. ... We didn't do much to stop them."
Seattle became the first Western Conference team to reach 50 losses this season. The Sonics are one loss shy of matching last season's total and nine shy of matching the franchise record, set in 1967-68 in Seattle's first season.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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