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News » Denver routs Warriors

Denver routs Warriors

Denver routs Warriors DENVER The Warriors have generally become a more competitive team the past two weeks partly because of their willingness to share the ball. That trend continued in the early stages of their game Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets when Golden State had six assists after the first quarter.

But the Warriors who didn't arrive at their Denver hotel until 3:45 Tuesday morning were simply unable to maintain that level of focus. And the result was an all-too-predictable 135-107 thrashing at the hands of the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

Carmelo Anthony had 13 of his team's 44 second-quarter points as Denver turned what had been a close game into another rout of Golden State at the Pepsi Center. Anthony finished with 25 points as the Nuggets shot 54.7 percent (52 of 95) from the field.

"We needed to be at a high level all the way through, and that wasn't going to be possible," said Warriors assistant coach Keith Smart, who has gone 2-3 while filling in for coach Don Nelson, who should return from his bout with pneumonia Thursday against Houston. "We tried, but it wasn't going to be feasible for us tonight."

It took nearly all of the second quarter for the Warriors' assist total to reach nine, as a three-point Golden State lead after the first quarter quickly evaporated into the Mile High City's thin air.

The Warriors finished with 15 assists, matching their lowest total since trading Stephen Jackson to Charlotte on Nov. 16, and were outrebounded by the Nuggets 57-33. Golden State has lost 11 of its past 12 games in Denver.

"I'm not going to blame it on (the lack of rest). We still had an opportunity to come out and play hard and try to get a win," said Monta Ellis, who was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter and finished with 15 points. "It's just one of those nights."

Coming away from Denver with a win was going to be daunting enough for the Warriors (6-11), even if they arrived at their hotel at a reasonable hour after their 19-point win Monday over Indiana.

Nuggets coach George Karl said before the game that his team would have to exploit its obvious size advantage, as Golden State was without Anthony Randolph (left-ankle sprain) and Ronny Turiaf (left-knee sprain), not to mention Andris Biedrins (back, groin).

To that end, Nuggets center Nene had 16 points and 12 rebounds by the end of the third quarter, and Chris Andersen came off the bench for a seemingly easy 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in just over 21 minutes.

"We needed (Biedrins) as much as anybody," Ellis said. "But you've got to go out and play with who you've got."

Of course, assists are harder to come by when shots aren't falling. The Warriors shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) in the first quarter but were 32-of-72 (44.4 percent) by the time the fourth quarter began.

Anthony Morrow was 12-of-20 from the field and finished with a game-high 27 points, but only played 33 minutes, having picked up three fouls by the 8:01 mark of the second quarter.

"I kind of blame myself," Morrow said. "I felt like I brought a little intensity in the first quarter and got into foul trouble. Guarding guys like Carmelo Anthony, I kind of took myself out of the game. But we just want to stay positive with everyone staying on the same page. I think we'll be fine."

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Added: December 4, 2009


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