Two Nuggets Named All-Star Starters

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Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson are the most prolific scoring duo in the league this season.

So, it's only fitting the tandem is headed to the All-Star game as a package deal. Anthony and Iverson were named starters to the Western Conference All-Star team on Thursday night.

Denver hasn't had two starters on the squad since Alex English and Fat Lever were both named to the team in 1988.

Iverson is third in the league in scoring, averaging 27 points a game. Anthony is right behind him at fourth with a 25.5-point average.

Together, they form the most potent tandem in the league, averaging a combined 52.5 points. The only other duo that's close is New Jersey's Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter, who are averaging a combined 44.6 points.

Anthony led all forwards in the Western Conference with 1,723,701 votes. Iverson made a late surge to take the second guard spot away from Houston's Tracy McGrady. Iverson finished with 1,203,152 votes.

San Antonio forward Tim Duncan, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Houston center Yao Ming round out the Western Conference starters for the game on Feb. 17 in New Orleans, La.

Iverson will be making his ninth All-Star appearance. He's also a two-time All-Star Game MVP, winning the honor in 2001 and 2005. He's averaged 17.3 points in seven All-Star appearances. Iverson was selected last season but sat out due to an injury.

''It's a good feeling,'' Iverson said of being selected to the team. ''I think it's a tribute to my teammates and coaching staff because without those guys none of that would be possible.''

Anthony is headed to his second straight All-Star game. He scored 20 points in 25 minutes in his first All-Star appearance last season in Las Vegas.

''It feels like I'm over the hump now and people are starting to realize the hard work that I put in to get here,'' said Anthony, who currently holds the longest active double-figure scoring streak in the NBA at 170 games. ''It's all because of the fans. They're obviously liking what they've been seeing out of me and the production that I'm giving out there on the court this season. It's finally starting to pay off.''

The 23-year-old forward missed his first game of the season Wednesday night with a sprained left ankle. Anthony came down on the foot of Bryant in Monday's loss to the Lakers, and is listed as day-to-day.

''Melo is a great player,'' Kenyon Martin said Wednesday after the Nuggets' 107-100 win over Atlanta. ''Everybody has to step up.''

Now, the lobbying begins. Nuggets coach George Karl is hoping to get center Marcus Camby a spot on the team as a reserve, which is decided by a coach's vote. Karl would gladly place calls to rival coaches to plead his case on why Camby should make the team.

Camby is first in the league in blocked shots (3.92) and second in rebounding (14.4).

''I'd be interested to see a coach that doesn't pick him,'' Karl said Wednesday. ''Marcus has to get a lot of attention.''



 
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