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David Lee helps Warriors hold off Nuggets

By The Associated Press

Posted Dec. 23, 2013 22:48

DENVER (AP) -- David Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 89-81 on Monday night.

Stephen Curry, battling foul trouble much of the night, added 14 points in the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors, as the sixth seed, ousted third-seeded Denver 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs last spring.

Klay Thompson scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State overcome a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season and sending the Nuggets to their season-high fourth consecutive loss.

Ty Lawson had 16 points to lead Denver, which was outscored 25-15 in the final period. Andre Miller and Timofey Mozgov had 14 points apiece.

Mozgov also had 11 rebounds while starting in place of injured of Kenneth Faried, who was held out of the game to rest a sprained ankle.

The Nuggets used a 10-run, capped by successive 3-pointers by Lawson and Wilson Chandler to go in front 55-52 midway through the third quarter for their first lead of the game.

Nate Robinson's stepback jumper gave Denver a 64-62 lead going into the fourth quarter, and the game remained tight throughout the period.

After Miller made one of two free throws pulling the Nuggets to within 80-78, Andre Iguodala, a former Nugget, drained a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a five-point edge with 3:19 remaining.

Miller made a jumper for Denver with 2:24 left and the teams traded turnovers before Chandler's attempt at a game-tying 3 with 42 seconds left to play hit the rim and bounced away. The Warriors responded with a turnaround jumper by Thompson to help seal the win with 22.6 seconds remaining.

The Warriors led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter but settled for a 47-43 halftime lead, getting consecutive baskets by Lee in the last minute of the second period after the Nuggets evened the score on a driving dunk by Mozgov.

Golden State had a 30-point first quarter but had barely half that in the second, when the Warriors were held to 17 points. It was their lowest scoring second quarter since being held to 13 against San Antonio on Nov. 8.

NOTES: Mozgov has three double doubles this season. ... The Warriors missed their first eight free throws of the game before Lee connected on a pair with 1:09 left in the third quarter. ... Andrew Bogut had 11 rebounds to go with his four points.

STAR OF THE GAME

David_Lee

Points 28 11-21 FG, 0-0 3FG, 6-6 FT
Rebounds 10, 2 OFF 8 DEF
Assists 2
Steals 0
Blocks 0
GAME LEADERS
Points David Lee 28
Rebounds Andrew Bogut, Timofey Mozgov 11
Assists Andre Miller 8
Steals four with 2
Blocks Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, 3
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets point guard Andre Miller on emphasizing team success over individual numbers

"Individual statistics don’t matter. The wins and losses matter more than individual statistics. The sooner we learn that, then we’ll be better off."

KEY MOMENT

Execution lacking for Nuggets in final minutes

Trailing by 3 with 2:23 remaining, the Nuggets got two defensive stops but came up empty on three straight possessions. Klay Thompson then hit a turnaround jumper to give Golden State a five-point lead with 22.6 seconds remaining.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“We didn’t play good the first quarter but our second unit came in and locked down, fought hard. I thought we did a good job defensively holding them under 20 points in the second and third quarter, but too many turnovers. Missed opportunities where we had numbers on the break. We got a charging foul and don’t complete the break. I think we missed three or four dunks tonight and a couple of their shooters got free in the fourth quarter and knocked down 3s right when the game was there to be had. We only scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. We made it tough on ourselves.”

On the toughness of this team:
“I saw it in stretches; I didn’t see it at the beginning of the game. Golden State was getting free layups and dunks wide open, but Anthony Randolph, Darrell Arthur, Dre, Nate and J-Ham came in and showed some fight and got us back in the game. The game was close until the stretch of fourth when Golden State opened it up on us.”

On Stephen Curry:
“I didn’t think we attacked him as much as we should have. We had a lot of opportunities where he was the only defender back and for whatever reason we passed the ball. They were trying to hide him defensively because they were going into their zone. They had him on Jordan Hamilton and Wilson Chandler but we didn’t recognize in the flow of things who he was guarding to try and go at him. Sometimes that can be bait because it can take you away from what you’re really trying to do. We know he's their best player and having him out of the game would have helped us out a lot. We didn't do a very good job on David Lee. He worked us.”

On the fourth quarter:
“We weren't aggressive; we wanted Ty Lawson to attack the paint. The ball started sticking, we couldn’t swing the ball from side to side. The pace was too slow and when we were able to get clean rebounds, we weren't getting it out and pushing it.”

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson

On the loss to Golden State:
“It’s tough when you lose four in row. It's tough anywhere. We have a break right now. Everyone can go home and go with their families and come back refocused and get these next two on the road.”

On why the team has been struggling the last few games:
“Honestly, I think it' confidence. I don’t think we’re shooting the ball with confidence. We’re second guessing ourselves. I don’t think we’re playing loose and free like we were in the first 20 games or so, but we’ll get back to it.”

Nuggets poing guard Andre Miller

On the bench playing well tonight but still losing the game:
“Not enough—we’re not playing good basketball right now, we’re not playing good basketball this month, so we have to figure out how we’re going to get into a groove.”

On if it’s tough losing to Golden State after they knocked them out of the playoffs last season:
“It’s always frustrating when you’re struggling. That team has a system of how they play, they have shooters out there—we kind of controlled them a little bit, we just turned the ball over and they got a lot of offensive rebounds and points off turnovers.”

On what the difference has been in the last seven games after their winning streak:
“Probably confidence—I don’t think that we’re playing with the confidence or the sense of urgency that it takes to win. It’s a tight race at the bottom and we can easily move up or we could easy fall out. We just have to figure out a way to get our confidence back and share the ball a little bit more.”

On having some silver linings in the loss with strong individual performances:
“Yeah, but it’s over now—we lost, individual statistics don’t matter, the wins and loses matter more than the individual statistics. The sooner we learn that, then we’ll be better off.”

Warriorso coach Mark Jackson

On Andre Iguodala:
“I thought he had a rhythm. He made a big three with the ballgame close. He took a little bit of life out of the [Nuggets]. I think he is getting back to who he truly is, so it is great to see for us.”

On tonight’s win:
“It was a good win, especially because they took the lead and had a rhythm. Our guys battled. That is how you have to win on the road. It was an awfully impressive win for us. We got back to defending at a high level and getting back to our principles.”

On clinching the win despite their low shooting percentage:
“It tells you how good we can be because there is no question about our guys’ ability to score and shoot the basketball. The thing that can remain constant for us is our ability to defend and defend at a high level. That is what is going to win ball games for us. When our guys do establish a rhythm, it is going to be awfully pretty.”

Warriors forward David Lee

On his offensive performance tonight:
“I think the last 10 games or so I’ve tried to be really aggressive, especially to start games, to attack the rim. Tonight was no exception. As you know the last time I played in this building it wasn’t the greatest result, I got injured. So I wanted to come out tonight and put that behind me and attack the basket early and get thoughts of that stuff out of the way. I had some success early and just tried to be consistent throughout the game.”

On getting involved early:
“First of all, when we control the paint that makes the job of [Stephen Curry], Klay [Thompson] and those guys a little easier. We got some open shots tonight and last time I can remember they didn’t fall. We were still able to get a road win and that’s what’s important. I’m just happy that I could provide some offense.”

On playing in Denver:
“A lot of times in a tough environment like this you need every bit of offense you can get because Denver is such a talented scoring team. We got some stops down the stretch and that was the reason why we won the game.”

Warriors guard/forward Andre Iguodala

On getting booed by Denver fans:
“I played in Philly last year on the first game of the year so I’ve kind of been through it. It actually wasn’t that bad … Fans are so in to it now with the media and it’s like they’re so close to the game so you’re going to see a lot of that.”

On 3-point shooting performance:
“It felt good. I’ve been struggling shooting the ball since I got back, just trying to find a rhythm, trying to find where I’m getting shots at. I felt really good tonight shooting before the game … I feel like I’m starting to find a rhythm. I’m starting the get a rhythm with the guys and we’re just trying to keep getting better and try to build as much chemistry as possible on the court.”

On letting Denver back into the game after big lead in first quarter:
“It’s a game of runs. Denver is a dangerous team out there, they’re kind of wounded. When you go up like that you kind of think you’re going to just lay down and have an easy night. They showed some toughness and they went up five I think in the third. It was a battle from there. From that standpoint it was a really good win to be down in the third and to come back in the fourth quarter and to get a win.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Timofey Mozgov posted 14 points and 11 rebounds tonight. It was the fifth double-double of his career, with his team going 4-1 in those games.

• Andre Miller registered 14 points, eight assists and four rebounds off the bench tonight. He is the fourth different bench player to lead the Denver reserves in scoring over the last four games.

• Ty Lawson led the Nuggets in scoring with 16 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. Denver has lost four of their last five games when a Nugget has failed to score 20 points.

• David Lee tallied 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win. It was his ninth straight double-double and the second time in his last three games with 28+ points and 10+ rebounds. It was the 23rd time in his career reaching those number in the same game.

TEAM

• Denver has now lost four straight games overall and three straight at Pepsi Center.

• The Nuggets’ snapped their three-game home winning streak over the Warriors. Golden State has now won 3 of their last 19 games against Denver at Pepsi Center.

• Denver scored 81 points and is now 1-3 when scoring below 90 and 3-10 when failing to reach 100 points. It was Denver’s third straight home game under 100 points and eighth time in their last 10 overall games.

• Prior to tonight’s loss, Denver was 10-2 on the year when holding their opponent to under 100 points.

• The Nuggets shot 3-of-13 (.231) from the three-point range tonight. It was their fifth straight game shooting below .300 from three, the first time doing so in five straight games since Jan. 2006. Denver is shooting 25-of-103 (.243) from deep in their last five.

• Denver outrebounded Golden State 47-42 tonight. The Nuggets started the season 8-1 when outrebounding their opponent, but have gone 3-5 when doing so since.

• The Nuggets dished out 16 assists tonight, their third straight game with 18-or-fewer helpers. It was the first time since Jan. 2011 the Nuggets have done so.

• The Warriors started the game 0-of-8 from the free throw line and then made their final 10 attempts to close out the game.