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Iguodala scores 29 points, Nuggets top Warriors

By Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com

Posted Nov. 24 2012 00:15AM

Whatever Nuggets coach George Karl has been saying to his team at halftime, he should copyright the material and sell it to coaches across America.

Two days after erasing a 14-point halftime deficit at Minnesota, the Nuggets blew past Golden State in the third quarter Friday night at Pepsi Center and rolled to a 102-91 win over the Warriors.

Andre Iguodala scored 21 of his season-high 29 points after halftime to help Denver win its third straight game and move over .500 for the second time this season. The Nuggets (7-6) trailed by six points at the half but never trailed after a 15-0 run to open the third quarter.

“You play so many games, sometimes you need somebody a coach like Coach Karl to get on you,” Denver forward Danilo Gallinari said. “It makes you wake up a little bit.”

Gallinari scored 20 points and Ty Lawson added 18 points and nine assists for the Nuggets, who played just their fourth home game of the season.

After watching the Warriors close the first half on a 9-3 run, Denver exploded after the break. Iguodala scored nine points in the first 4 minutes, 9 seconds of the third quarter, and the Nuggets never trailed the rest of the way.

“It was ugly (at halftime),” Lawson said. “Coach came in here screaming and yelling. We knew what we had to do. They showed us the video and what changes needed to be made, and we made them. It worked out for us.”

In the past two games, the Nuggets have outscored the opposition 112-74 in the second half and shot 50 percent from the field. Defensively, they held Minnesota and Golden State to 31.7 percent shooting.

“Just making the right adjustments,” Iguodala said. “When you’re down, you’ve got to hit back. They kind of beat us up in the first half tonight, being really aggressive with us and challenging us underneath the basket. We had to turn the game around and do the same to them.”

As usual, Iguodala did a little bit of everything. He went 11-for-19 from the field, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range, and added six rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.

“He did a great job,” Gallinari said. “He carried us by making a lot of good shots, running the floor, getting to the free throw line, dunks. He was doing everything.”

Iguodala even had an assist to himself, bouncing an inbounds pass off the back of Warriors forward David Lee and corralling it for an easy two-hand dunk to give Denver a 16-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

“First time ever. Never even practiced it,” Iguodala said. “I’ve seen it so many times. They were in zone and everybody’s back was to the ball. I didn’t want to do it, but I said, ‘Hey, what the heck,’ and it worked out.”

Iguodala and Lawson also helped contain Golden State’s backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry didn’t score until the game’s final 3:21, and Thompson went scoreless in the second half after hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers in the first half.

With two of their top scoring threats neutralized, the Warriors couldn’t keep pace. Golden State has now lost 15 of its last 17 games at Pepsi Center.

“Needless to say, especially after our last game (a double-overtime home loss on Nov. 10), this isn’t our favorite team,” Lee said.

The Nuggets and Warriors will square off again in Oakland in six days. Until then, Denver will try to take advantage of playing consecutive home games for the first time this season. The New Orleans Hornets are in town on Sunday.

“If somebody has to remind us of how important our home games are, we shouldn’t be playing basketball,” Lawson said. “We have all these (early season) road games. We have to take care of home court, especially against teams we know we can beat.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Andre Iguodala

Points 29, 11-19 FGs, 3-6 3FGs
Rebounds 6, 2 OFF 4 DEF
Assists 2
Steals 0
Blocks 2
GAME LEADERS
Points Iguodala 29, 11-19 FGs
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 11, 3 OFF 8 DEF
Assists Ty Lawson 9
Steals Corey Brewer 4
Blocks JaVale McGee, Festus Ezeli 3
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Golden State coach Mark Jackson on second half:

"They [the Nuggets] turned it up a notch, and we ran for the hills. We didn’t respond. Give them credit; it was a disappointing way to start the third quarter."

KEY MOMENT

Nuggets 15-0 run to open second half

Trailing by six points at the half, the Nuggets needed only 4 minutes, 9 seconds to turn the game around. Iguodala scored nine points, and the Warriors missed eight shots during that stretch.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach George Karl

On defense against Golden State guard Stephen Curry:
“I think Ty and him have a little bit of a rivalry between each other. Ty’s pressure in the last couple games has been getting better and he understands that he can be a pest at the defensive end of the court. I thought putting pressure on the ball has been a defensive emphasis for us and it worked tonight. He didn’t give up any open shots and didn’t give up anything in transition. We have been a second-half team the last three games. The first half I was a little disappointed in our energy and enthusiasm. The first six minutes of the third quarter was tremendous. I thought [Andre] Iguodala motivated a lot of that with his defense. He and Corey [Brewer] got their hands on the ball defensively and created a lot of havoc and frustration that Golden State felt. I thought Ty’s individual defense was good. There were times Iguodala had (Stephen) Curry and did a good job too.”

On the team’s defensive play:
“After thirteen games, I think we’ve won more games with our defense than with our offense. Tonight offensively we had a little better flow, a little better rhythm. If we would have made our free throws we would have had a good night. We still have to get a better flow and rhythm and gain confidence moving the ball and get better spacing. Tonight we took too many threes. It might be the first time all year we had 30 free throws. I thought [Andre] Iguodala made a big step forward. It was the first time this year the [Iguodala, Gallinari and Lawson] played well together. I think everything is starting to fit together a little better.”

On the team’s attitude after winning three straight games:

“This morning I thought our shoot around was okay. I think one thing about professionalism is going to work knowing you have to come to work is to get better, your job is to put in time, your job is to get healthy, your job is to work in the weight room. Sometimes I think we have a lot of immaturity from a standpoint of it’s a job and you’re being judged on how you perform, how you act and your attitude in practice. I’m not saying were bad at it, but we have a lot of room to improve. Compared to some of my past years we’re great but we’re also young. We can’t be loose in a shoot around just because we got two good wins on the road.”

Nuggets guard/forward Andre Iguodala

“On 2nd half adjustments against Warriors guard Klay Thompson:
“He was getting some really good looks in the first half. He always starts out ready to go. If he makes his first two shots then he can go all night, but we made proper adjustments at halftime. I didn’t help off as much cause he is a deadly shooter, so I tried to contain him a little bit cause he is a workhorse.”

On team learning maturity:
“Experience is the biggest factor. Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, and myself keep reiterating that we have to be mentally tough, and that’s all it is, just being mentally aware of what’s going on at any given moment. They [the Warriors] cut the lead to 11, and we got another spurt to put the game away. We still have to work to do but it’s there.”

On David Lee out-of-bounds play:
“I saw it even before I took the ball out. They went zone. I saw it was open, and I was hesitant. I thought we had enough of a lead that I thought I could pull it off. I’ve never tried it before, not even in practice, and it just happen to work.”

Warriors coach Mark Jackson

On what happened in the second half:
“They [the Nuggets] turned it up a notch, and we ran for the hills. We didn’t respond. Give them credit; it was a disappointing way to start the third quarter.”

On stopping the Nuggets when they are on a roll:
“We didn’t help the cause by turning over the basketball and allowing them [the Nuggets] transition points. They got it going and we didn’t try to stop them, we actually helped them keep it going. In a situation like that you’ve got to run your offense, and you’ve got to be disciplined defensively. You’ve got to make sure to get back, and we didn’t do either one of these.”

On the quiet night by Harrison Barnes and Stephen Curry:
“We’re not really concerned about that. At the end of the day, they didn’t do much in the first half and we found ourselves with the lead. We don’t get caught up in individual nights; we feel that respectfully we can get it done when were locked in. We were not to start the third quarter.”

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry

“On his performance:
“It was rough one out there for everybody. We played alright in the first half; obviously I didn’t do much offensively because I was in foul trouble. They [the Nuggets] came in in the third quarter and dominated us. We fell behind when it mattered in the second half, and didn’t have anything to come back in the end.”

On his foul trouble:
“I was back and forth off the bench in the first half but that is no excuse. I’ve got to be more aggressive when I’m shooting and making plays.”

On the teams third quarter:
“We were up six or seven at the end of the half, and they came out on a 10-0 run. We didn’t have another punch back at them. We fought decent enough in the middle of the third quarter, but we just didn’t have a punch to give them at the end. The third quarter has been our nemesis. If we play well in the third we win, if we don’t then we put ourselves into big hole and let the other team get a little too confident and too aggressive. ”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Andre Iguodala led all scorers with 29 points tonight, marking a Nugget season-high and the most points he has scored since 4/3/10 vs. TOR as a member of the 76ers (33 points). In the last two games, Iguodala is averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

• Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points, grabbed seven boards and blocked one shot in tonight’s win. In the Italian’s last three games, he is averaging 21.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.33 blocks while shooting .457 percent (Nuggets 3-0). Additionally he has scored 15+ in six of the last seven games.

• Kenneth Faried came down with 11 rebounds in tonight’s contest. It is the eighth time in nine games that the second-year forward has recorded a double-digit rebounding game. In the last nine games, Faried is averaging 13.0 rpg.

• Ty Lawson scored 18 points while dishing out nine dimes tonight against the Warriors. It is the 15th time in his career that he has registered 18+ points and 9+ assists in the same game (12-3). Additionally, the Nuggets are 4-0 on the season when Lawson records 9+ assists.

• JaVale McGee blocked three shots tonight, marking the fourth time he has done so this season. Since joining the Nuggets, it is the ninth time McGee has accomplished that feat (Nuggets 6-3).

• Festus Ezeli recorded 10 rebounds but scored zero points in the contest. It is just the 11th time since 1985-86 that a Nuggets opponent registered 10+ boards but didn’t score a point.

• David Lee led the Warriors with 21 points while also coming down with 10 rebounds. It marks the third time that Lee has registered 20+ points and 10+ boards in the same game this season (Warriors 2-1).

TEAM

• The Nuggets defeated Golden State 102-91, earning their third straight win over Golden State … Denver has now won 15 of their last 17 home games over the Warriors.

• Denver has dominated in the second half of their past two games (tonight vs. GS, 11/21 at MIN), outscoring their opponents 112-74 while shooting .500 (41-82 FG) compared to their opponents shooting .317 (26-82 FG).

• The Nuggets attempted 30 free throws in tonight’s win and are now 5-2 on the year when attempting 25+ free throws.

• Denver registered nine steals in the win, moving to 6-1 this season when collecting nine-or-more steals.

• The Nuggets’ starters combined for 78 points tonight, and Denver is now 7-2 when their starters combine for 60+ points.

• The Warriors outrebounded the Nuggets 45 to 39 tonight, the most Denver has been outrebounded by this season (previous was one on two occasions) … Tonight was just the third time this season that the Nuggets have lost the rebounding battle.