DENVER – Allen Iverson had permission from Nuggets coach George Karl to shoot more and pass less.

Iverson preferred to do plenty of both, finishing with 28 points and 13 assists in Denver’s 116-105 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

The Nuggets point guard was playing in his second game – picking up his second double-double – since being acquired by Denver for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks in 2007 on Dec. 19.

Earl Boykins scored 28 points and Reggie Evans had 14 points and 14 boards. Nene, who chipped his tooth in the first quarter, grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 12.

Tony Allen scored 18 points for Boston. Al Jefferson had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Gerald Green added 18 points.

Wizards 116, Grizzlies 101

WASHINGTON – Gilbert Arenas scored 31 points and the surging Washington Wizards used a big first half to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-101 on Tuesday night.

The Wizards have won 11 of 14 and moved three games above .500. They returned home without missing a beat from a four-game trip in which they averaged 131 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver, Sacramento and Phoenix.

Mavericks 97, Bobcats 84

DALLAS – Josh Howard scored 27 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 23 as the Dallas Mavericks stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 97-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Howard, last week’s Western Conference player of the week, went 10-for-19 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Dallas is 9-1 this season when Howard scores 20 or more points.

Pacers 81, Rockets 76

INDIANAPOLIS – Al Harrington had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Jamaal Tinsley scored 17 points, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 81-76.

Tracy McGrady returned to Houston’s starting lineup after missing seven games with back spasms and finished with 19 points.

Pistons 92, Nets 91

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Chauncey Billups made two free throws with 7.2 seconds left to give the Detroit Pistons their fifth straight win, a 92-91 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

Billups, who missed nine of his 10 shots from the floor, was fouled by Vince Carter on a fast break after Jason Kidd missed a 3-pointer that could have clinched the game.

Bucks 114, Spurs 107

SAN ANTONIO – Michael Redd scored 36 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs 114-107 for their fifth straight victory.

The Bucks (14-14) returned to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on Nov. 6. Redd was 14-of-22 from the floor and made all eight of his free throws.

Timberwolves 100, Bulls 98

MINNEAPOLIS – Randy Foye made a runner with 1.8 seconds left, and the Minnesota Timberwolves blew a 25-point lead before beating the Chicago Bulls 100-98.

Foye, who finished with a career-high 25 points, took the ball from Kevin Garnett and drove to the right side before putting a shot over Kirk Hinrich.

Suns 110, Trail Blazers 87

PHOENIX – Leandro Barbosa scored 20 points in a six-minute span bridging the third and fourth quarters, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-87 for their 16th win in 17 tries.

Barbosa, who had only two points at halftime and missed four of his five shots, was 8-of-9 in the second half.

and finished with 22 points.


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