Warriors Unable To Hold Off Nuggets
OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Nate Robinson scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, J.J. Hickson grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds and the streaky Denver Nuggets outlasted the Golden State Warriors 123-116 on Wednesday night.
Wilson Chandler added 22 points and six rebounds, and Ty Lawson finished with 22 points and 11 assists to give Oakland native and first-year Nuggets coach Brian Shaw a victory in his hometown.
Denver outshot Golden State 54 to 43 percent.
David Lee had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Stephen Curry scored 24 points for the well-rested Warriors, who took the lead with 1:13 remaining before the Nuggets pulled away again. Golden State, which had won 11 of its past 12 games, hadn’t played since beating Boston on Friday night.
Both teams pushed the pace from the start in a back-and-forth game with incredible scoring and little defense.
Robinson, who played 51 games with the Warriors during the 2011-12 season, stole the show for most of the fourth quarter. He made consecutive 3-pointers, a driving layup, a long jumper and a step-back shot during a scintillating display of offense that put Denver ahead 113-105 with 3:44 to play.
The Warriors kept on coming, though, getting contributions from all over — Curry hit a 3-pointer, Lee followed with a dunk and Klay Thompson made a pull-up jumper to bring the Warriors within one. After Chandler made a pair of free throws, Lee made 3 of 4 from the line to give Golden State a 116-115 lead.
Hickson came back with a running shot that put the Nuggets back in front, then stole the ball from Curry and converted a layup on the other end while getting fouled to finish with 13 points. He missed the free throw, but Denver got the rebound. And after Lawson missed a jumper, Hickson grabbed another board.
Lawson hit both free throws to give the Nuggets a 121-116 led with 21 seconds left. Then Curry missed an open 3-pointer following a timeout to send most of the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 to the exits.
The two-faced Nuggets showed their better side in a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff series won by Golden State.
Denver won seven straight from Nov. 21 to Dec. 3 and five in a row before losing at Utah on Monday night. The Nuggets also had an eight-game losing streak from Dec. 17 to Jan. 1.
Golden State’s bench was short-handed after sending struggling backup guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat in a three-team trade. The Warriors acquired Jordan Crawford and reserve MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics, but neither player was available in time to face the Nuggets.
Golden State had enough trouble with its starting unit in this one.
The Nuggets shot 62 percent in the first half to take a 65-58 lead. The Warriors shot 48 percent before the break — a solid performance on most nights — but never could slow down Denver.
Golden State tightened up defensively at the beginning of the third to briefly go ahead. Denver ended the quarter on an 11-2 run capped by Evan Fournier’s half-court heave as time expired to carry a 91-82 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Warriors general manager Bob Myers said backup center Jermaine O’Neal is about 2-3 weeks from returning from right wrist surgery. He also said fellow big man Festus Ezeli, out all season recovering from knee surgery, will likely be out until at least March. … In addition to long-term injuries to Danilo Gallinari (left knee) and JaVale McGee (left leg), the Nuggets were without forward Anthony Randolph (left ankle) and Andre Miller (indefinite leave).
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