Big Third Quarter Helps Warriors Past Nuggets
Golden State 122, Denver 114
OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 6 (Ticker) -- With their best player on the bench, the Golden State Warriors summoned one of their best runs of the season.
Mickael Pietrus scored 14 of his 16 points during the game-deciding charge in the third quarter as the Warriors posted a 122-114 triumph over the slumping Denver Nuggets.
"It's good, we've been playing a high level and everybody's been working hard," Richardson said. "We've got a lot of guys that can play basketball on this team. I'm not the only guy that can score points. We've got Baron (Davis) and Fish (Derek Fisher) and MP (Mickael Pietrus)."
"We tried to get it going in the second half," Pietrus said. "For me it was kind of hard to get going in the first half. I came out in the third quarter and really tried to make things happen for my teammates. And we did."
Denver had a 68-60 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period when Pietrus drained a 3-pointer to ignite the burst. Troy Murphy added six of his 20 points during the run, which was capped by Pietrus' three-point play with 1:17.
Losers of five of their last six contests, the Nuggets missed 11 straight shots and committed four turnovers before Kenyon Martin ended that charge with short jumper that made it 84-71 with a minute left in the session.
"When you take bad shots and you turn the ball over, that's what happens when they went on that run," said Denver guard Earl Boykins, who scored 15 points off the bench. "I don't recall us getting many shots at the basket and when you do that, that's what allows teams to get runs like that."
"We picked up our defensive intensity and really made them work for everything that they were trying to get," Fisher said. "It's always a difference for us is make teams work on their offensive end."
Golden State continued its stellar play in the fourth quarter as Fisher's 3-pointer swelled its bulge to 94-75 with 10:10 remaining.
"It's like we're right there man," said Davis, who collected 23 points and 12 assists. "A lot of the time we're right on the cusp of being what we can be as far as with out talent and with our energy. We've been playing a lot better basketball and it's going to be our turn. I feel it's our turn to start running off wins but we have to sustain our level of energy and intensity out there on the floor."
Carmelo Anthony scored 14 of his 34 points in the final 10 minutes as Denver cut its deficit to 115-109 with just under a minute remaining.
"We played a good basketball game for the most part and it's tough in this game to hold onto big leads," Fisher said. "Teams just aren't going to quit and give them credit for continuing to play."
"They went on a 24-1 run and momentum was going their way," Anthony said. "The crowd was into it. The referees were letting us play a little bit. We tried to fight back but by that time it was too late. We are going to put this game behind us, and learn from it."
Fisher, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, connected on a driving layup with 47 seconds left. The Nuggets fought back to draw within five with 23 seconds to go, but got no closer.
"We'll take a win however we can get it," Fisher said. "When you look back on the season record you won't be able to look at whether the game was close or not or how you won, it's whether you won or lost. We'll take it."
"The fourth quarter, we fought hard and did some good things in a catch up situation but the hole was probably too big," Denver coach George Karl said.