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News » NUGGETS 135, WARRIORS 107 Effort worth A-OK grade Better defense and balanced scoring fuel Denver's blowout of Golden State.


NUGGETS 135, WARRIORS 107 Effort worth A-OK grade Better defense and balanced scoring fuel Denver's blowout of Golden State.


NUGGETS 135, WARRIORS 107 Effort worth A-OK grade Better defense and balanced scoring fuel Denver's blowout of Golden State. When he's not high-fiving a bevy of 5-year-olds who scream his name like Adrian, Nuggets mascot Rocky will attempt backward, half-

court shots during timeouts, occasionally splashing one after a few tries. Rocky hit his first attempt Tuesday night.

"You know it's a good night then," Denver guard Chauncey Billups said.

See, no one could miss during the Nuggets' 135-107 rout of the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center, where every Nugget scored at least four points and the team scored its most points of the season.

And as for the Nuggets' in-

famous loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday - well,

lesson learned.

Denver was up 14 points at halftime that night and blew the game. Denver was up 14 at halftime Tuesday and blew the game open, outscoring the Warriors 38-29 in the third quarter.

"It was more mentally challenging for us, having another team and game like we had against Minnesota," said Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who scored a team-high 25 points. "It was like d?j? vu. We took it upon ourselves to keep it that way, to not let up."

After allowing the New York Knicks to score 125 points but still win and after allowing mediocre Minnesota (106 points) to somehow win at the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets (13-5) finally clamped down defensively against a lowly opponent in Golden State.

The slippery Warriors (6-11) appeared to be a dangerous opponent at this particular point in the season because of their race-car pace and because they throw up shots like caution to the wind.

But the Warriors shot 43.6 percent from the field and Denver

rattled guard Monta Ellis, whose copious scoring prompted Nuggets coach George Karl to call him "the hottest player in the NBA." That was before the Nuggets (notably Ty Lawson) held

Ellis to 4-for-10 shooting and 15 points in 30 minutes.

But the defensive darling of the game was Denver's Chris Andersen. On Tuesday, the Birdman blocketh. He swatted a season-high five shots.

"Everybody knows we feed off Birdman's energy, and it was good to see him running all over the place," Billups said. "That's the Bird we're accustomed to. We're such a tough Basketball team to play when we've got everyone

doing what they do."

Andersen has logged some nice nights this season, and his plus-minus ratings have been great, but with his earlier knee injury and his recent sinus infection, he hadn't had one of those game-changing nights - until Tuesday. He also contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.

"From my standpoint, he played his best game," Karl said. "It seemed like he was over his cold, he had his bounce and made some defensive plays. And they were momentum defensive plays. Factors."

Andersen was one of the Nuggets who was on Karl's "play hard" team a season ago - the lineup of hustlers who fueled the whole roster.

Recently, Karl has been searching for his "play hard" lineup, which led to a postgame outburst after Sunday's loss to Minnesota. Andersen and others seemed to play hard against Golden State.

Next up? Miami, a team that slapped Denver around earlier this season when the Nuggets played soft.

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or bhochman@denverpost.com


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 3, 2009

 

 
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