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News » Denver is too much for winded Warriors

Denver is too much for winded Warriors

Denver is too much for winded WarriorsThe Warriors had every reason to quit Tuesday night, and with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter, they finally did.

That's when acting coach Keith Smart waved the white flag by pulling Monta Ellis and accepted a 135-107 pasting by Denver in front of 14,570 fans at the Pepsi Center.

Ellis had played 40-plus minutes in eight of the Warriors' past 10 games, so when he sat after a 30-minute effort, it indicated that Smart had accepted the inevitable.

"You hope you're going to get a final push, but there was no rhythm to put the thing in our favor," Smart said. "It made no sense to put Ellis back in there."

The Warriors arrived in Denver at 3:45 a.m. after an energy-draining win over Indiana the night before, were playing at altitude and were facing a Nuggets squad that had its 17-game home winning streak snapped by two-win Minnesota on Sunday.

That all caught up with the Warriors after an inspiring first-quarter run. They spent the rest of the game catching their breath as their legs failed them on jump shots and their heads failed them on defense.

"They tried," Smart said. "They gave it about a quarter and half of trying to compete, and after that, we just didn't have anything left. We needed to be at a high level all the way through, and that wasn't going to be possible."

Denver got 25 points from Carmelo Anthony and 22 more from Chauncey Billups as they shot 59.7 percent in the final three quarters and turned an eight-point deficit into an entertaining exhibition of long-range shooting and highlight-reel dunks. The Nuggets' mascot, Rocky, even made a half-court shot during a timeout with one minute left.

Ellis scored 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting, failing to lead the team in scoring for just the second time in the past 10 games. Denver made him work for everything, trapping him when he got the ball and trying to deny him the ball in the post.

Top scoring honors went to Anthony Morrow, who had 27 points on 12-for-20 shooting. Vladimir Radmanovic had 17 points, C.J. Watson and Corey Maggette each scored 14, and Stephen Curry added 10. Much of the offense, however, was bogged down by a lack of ball movement.

"Sometimes the mind wants to do it, but the mind just won't do it," Smart said. "Every man wanted to do what he was asked, but some nights, that thing just won't operate."

The Warriors will get a much-needed day off today before hosting what are expected to be physical games against Houston and Orlando on Thursday and Saturday. They then make their second five-game road trip of the young season, heading to Oklahoma City, New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia in an eight-day span.

"We definitely need a day off," Morrow said. "If we had to play, though, we'd suit up and be ready to play. There wouldn't be any questions asked.

"That's why we're Warriors ."

Up next Rockets 9-8 vs. 6-11Oracle Arena7:30 p.m. ThursdayCSNBA/680Two-time scoring champ Tracy McGrady has been practicing for nearly two weeks after recovering from knee surgery. He says he'll make his debut soon, but the team hasn't released a timetable for his return to game action.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 2, 2009


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