Print RSS Newsletter

Crawford scores career-high 41 to lead Warriors past Nuggets

By The Associated Press

Posted April 17, 2014 00:42


DENVER (AP) -- Jordan Crawford scored a career-high 41 points and Harrison Barnes added 30 as a squad of Golden State backups beat the Denver Nuggets 116-112 Wednesday night.

Crawford beat his previous career high of 39 points set against Miami on March, 30, 2011, when he was with Washington. He surpassed it with a runner that put the Warriors ahead for good at 110-108.

Randy Foye, who led Denver with 32 points, raced downcourt in response but his finger-roll rimmed out and Golden State corralled the rebound.

With 30 seconds left, Barnes sank a free throw and Draymond Green swooped in to tip in his errant second shot, giving the Warriors a 113-108 lead.

Crawford and Steve Blake each missed a free throw over the next 14 seconds, giving the Nuggets an opening. Green was whistled for goal-tending on Foye's 3-pointer with seven seconds left but the call was overturned upon review, leaving the Nuggets trailing 115-112.

Anthony Randolph tied his season high with 19 points for the Nuggets, who are missing the playoff party for the first time since 2002-03, the year before Carmelo Anthony's arrival.

The Warriors are headed to their second straight Western Conference playoffs, again as the No. 6 seed and this time, they'll face the third-seeded Clippers starting Saturday in Los Angeles.

With Andrew Bogut out indefinitely and nothing to play for as far as seeding, the Warriors rested their regulars for the playoffs. Guard Klay Thompson was the only starter coach Mark Jackson put in his starting lineup 48 hours after Golden State secured its first 50-win season since 1993-94.

Thompson played just eight minutes but his was an efficient cameo with eight points. Green was pressed into duty in the fourth quarter when Hilton Armstrong fouled out.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw had no problem with his counterpart going with a short bench by design, something Denver has had to do out of necessity for much of the season because of a rash of injuries to the likes of Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson and Nate Robinson.

''It will be like playing ourselves,'' Shaw said before tip-off. ''We'll get to see what it's like.''

The Warriors' reserves had fresh legs and continually beat the winded Nuggets downcourt. By halftime, Golden State, despite shooting just 9 of 17 from the foul line, was ahead 66-52 behind 22 points from Barnes and 19 from Crawford.

The Nuggets opened the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to take the lead and give the home crowd something to cheer about.

This marked the final game for Nuggets trainer Jim Gillen, who never missed a game or a practice in 23 seasons with the Nuggets. He worked for nine head coaches and four interim coaches, five general managers and nearly 200 players, taping up, by his estimate, 15,000 ankles.

Shaw called Gillen the fabric of the franchise.

''As a first-year head coach, I've had to rely on him in so many different situations from his experience and knowledge and know-how from things that we need to get together on, from hotel stays to when we need to get together and practice and how much rest guys need and to even in-game strategy, timeouts at the end of the game and things like that,'' Shaw said.

NOTES: As expected, Lawson (sprained ankle) did not play in the season finale, meaning he missed the last seven games of the season. ... The visiting team won all four games in the season series.


STAR OF THE GAME

Randy Foye

Points 32 10-21 FG, 9-12 FT
Rebounds 2, 0 OFF 2 DEF
Assists 11
Steals 0
Blocks 1
GAME LEADERS
Points Jordan Crawford 41
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 13
Assists Steve Blake 15
Steals Steve Blake 7
Blocks Hilton Armstrong, Timofey Mozgov with 2
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw on the end of the season

"I told the guys that this is the last time we want to end our season on the last game of the regular season."

KEY MOMENT

Crawford hits go-ahead shot to set career-high

With the game tied at 108, Warriors guard Jordan Crawford drove to the middle of the paint and converted a short floater to put Golden State ahead with 2:11 remaining. Randy Foye missed a layup on Denver's ensuing possession and the Warriors held the Nuggets at bay.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“I thought our team was very, very tired and I think it was apparent. We just couldn’t generate any energy. Right there at the end we were able to take the lead for a hot second but we just couldn’t overcome the mistakes and the fatigue that we were feeling as a group.”

On motivating the team for next season:
“I told the guys that this is the last time we want to end our season on the last game of the regular season.”

On his thoughts about the season as a whole:
“I’m proud of the effort of our guys. Obviously we’re disappointed. We’re not disappointed in terms of the effort of our guys who finished things out and played hard but disappointed that we didn’t accomplish the goals that to accomplish at the beginning of the season.”

Nuggets guard Randy Foye

On season:
“It was fun out there, I love to play basketball and have the opportunity to go out there on the court and compete. We came up short this year due to injuries but there were a lot of positive things that came out of this season.”

On the chemistry of this team:
“Its been a positive season, not in the win and lose column but just the chemisty by getting to learn each other and understanding what we have to do to be successful. Everyone is here to make it to the playoffs”

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

On if he is disappointed they didn’t win the last game of the season:
“The season is over with, it’s whatever—I want to send my condolences to the fans, I apologize. I did want to win for them, but it’s over with and now it’s time to get focused for next year.”

On wanting to send head Athletic Trainer Jim Gillen into retirement with a win:
“Yeah, I think (throwing him in the hot tub) was the highlight of the night. We wanted to win one last one for Jim in his going away game, we put up a good fight but they were just better tonight.”

On if it’s bittersweet to have so much self-improvement but to miss the playoffs as a team:
“There’s nothing sweet, I’ve been here for three years now and played in the Playoffs both of the years, so to not make it this year is nothing but disappointment. No matter how much better I’ve gotten or how much I’ve developed, we still didn’t make the playoffs, so it’s depressing. I’m going to go home and think about what I need to do better next year and focus on that.”

Warriors coach Mark Jackson

On the performance tonight:
“I thought we were outstanding. They battled despite the fatigue and the demand on their bodies. Those guys thought it was very important to put number 51 [wins this season] out there. They competed at a high level and I am proud of them. You’re talking about 51 wins, 20 games over 500 and 24 road victories; it is an incredible group. It has been an awesome year. I will say it again, it has been an awesome year. Now we will turn the page and look forward to the challenge that lays ahead. ”

On if the team is aware of their franchise records:
“Absolutely. Even afterwards I told them. 51 wins, third most in franchise history. I rattled off the names, some of the greats, that have put on the Warriors jersey. To be in that company, no one can take that away. It is an awesome accomplishment. Like I said, we aren’t done. But we are going to celebrate every step of the way.”

On the initial reaction when finding out they will face the Clippers:
“Either way we were thinking OKC or the Clippers. We knew we were going to have to face a team with two of the top ten players in the world. It is going to be a big time task, but one that we are looking forward to. The Clippers also are a team that is extremely well coached, there is no question about that. They are the favorites and they should be.”

Warriors guard Stephen Curry:

On upcoming playoff series against Los Angeles Clippers:
“It’s going to be a very entertaining series but I’m confident in the way we’re playing and what we’ll be able to do in this series … A lot of the experts picked Denver last year and they’re never 100 percent right. What matters is our belief in what we can do and how we go out and play. We’re ready to go.”

On importance of winning a game on the road in a playoff series:
“Yea you obviously have to get one on the road. We understand how they’ve been playing and they’ve been playing some great ball the last two months. They’re a deep team so it’s going to be a challenge. It’s not going to be easy. We have to go in and keep our head down, just play hard, play the way we’re capable of playing, and stick to our game plan.”

Warriors guard Steve Blake:

On winning the last regular season game:
“You always want to finish on a high note, have a good rhythm and a good feeling going into the playoffs. I thought the guys competed and we did what we had to do to get the win, which is not easy on a night when people say it’s not worth much and we really don’t have to play hard. The way the guys fought and competed was impressive.”

On playing with a short bench:
“Guys played a lot of minutes that they usually don’t get so they got a little bit winded. It was nice for all of us to get that opportunity to play a lot of minutes, have fun and even though it’s the last game of the year it’s a good win for us.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Randy Foye scored 32 points and registered 11 assists in 43 minutes tonight. It was the eighth 30-point game of his career and second career 30-point/10-assist game – with the other coming just five games ago on 4/9 vs. HOU.

• Kenneth Faried registered 15 points and 13 rebounds tonight. It was his 27th double-double of the season, with nine of those coming in the last 12 games. It was Faried’s 41st career double-double at home, with Denver going 36-5 in those games.

• Anthony Randolph scored a season-high tying 19 points (6-9 FG, 3-6 3FG) to go with five rebounds in 20 minutes. It was his 13th career game with 19+ points and 5+ rebounds and first time since 4/14/12 vs. OKC. His three made threes is a new career-high.

• Jordan Crawford scored a career-high 41 points (16-28 FG) to go with five boards and three assists off the bench. It was his fifth career game with 30-or-more points and most since he had 39 on 3/30/11 vs. MIA.

• Harrison Barnes had a career-high 30 points, five rebounds and three assists in 48 minutes. It was eighth career game with 20+ points.

• Hilton Armstrong tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. It was just his second career double-double, the other coming on 3/22/09 vs. GSW.

TEAM

• The Nuggets close out their season with a 36-46 overall record and a 22-19 mark at home. It represents their 11th straight season with a winning record at home.

• Tonight was just the Nuggets fourth home loss to Golden State since the 2003-04 season (16-4).

• The Nuggets and Warriors finished the season-series tied 2-2, with both the road teams going 2-0. It was the first time in franchise history that the two teams have split the series without the home team winning a game. It was just the fourth time in team history that the Nuggets have been swept at home by Golden State.

• Jordan Crawford’s 41 bench points marks the most points scored by a Golden State bench player since at least 1985-86. It was the first time a Nuggets’ opponent scored 40+ off the bench since Al Harrington had 41 for the Knicks on 11/27/09.

• Crawford and Harrison Barnes (30 points) are the first Nuggets’ opponents to score 40+ points and 30+ points in the same game since Kevin Durant (51) and Russell Westbrook (40) on 2/19/12 at OKC.

• Denver committed 20 turnovers tonight and was 3-14 on the year when committing 20-or-more turnovers.

• The Nuggets lost despite scoring 112 points, just the third time since Apr. 2008 that they have lost when scoring 110+ points at home (106-3 during this stretch).

• Randy Foye finished the season with 189 made three-pointers, ranking second in Nuggets’ franchise history for most made threes in a season (Dale Ellis ranks first with 192 made threes in 1996-97).