Nuggets Hammer Rockets

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The Denver Nuggets are on the cusp of the NBA playoffs after Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith led a 111-94 win over Houston.

Iverson poured in 33 points for the Nuggets, who could wrap up a postseason berth as early as Monday if the Warriors lose to Phoenix. Smith added 23 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in a 10-0 run that allowed the Nuggets to pull away in the first half.

Denver opened the game shooting just 3-for-14, but the Rockets missed 12 of their first 14 shots and were down 61-44 by halftime.

Luther Head topped Houston with 19 points, and Steve Novak scored all 15 of his points from 3-point range. Tracy McGrady finished with 16 points but was in foul trouble by the end of the first half.

The outcome leaves the Rockets a game and a-half behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the Western Conference lead.

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