‘Melo, Smith scorch Warriors
DENVER ” Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith scored 28 points apiece and the Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 123-111 Monday night.
Anthony sat out much of the fourth quarter after his bruised right thigh, which he hurt in the first half, tightened up on him.
Warriors guard Stephen Jackson was late for the game after attending the trial in Indianapolis of a man who hit him with a car during a fight outside a strip club last fall. The man was convicted Monday in a ruling by a judge.
Jackson started the second half and quickly picked up a technical for arguing a call with official Jess Kersey. He finished with nine points.
Nene had 24 points for Denver and Marcus Camby had eight points and seven rebounds in his return from a four-game absence with a pulled groin and the flu. He looked like he hadn’t missed a minute, playing loose and free and several times dishing the ball behind his back for big baskets before taking a seat when the game got out of hand.
Al Harrington, who started 24 hours after taking an elbow to the head from Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, led the Warriors with 24 points, and Kelenna Azubuike added 23.
Golden State was without its leading scorer, guard Baron Davis, who will undergo surgery on his left knee Tuesday, coach Don Nelson said.
“The surgery is to clean out some debris in his left knee. We won’t know the length of time he’ll be out until they go in there,” Nelson said. “We won’t make a roster move. We won’t do anything until after the surgery.”
The absences of Jackson and Davis didn’t prevent the Warriors from running their high-octane offense in the first half, when they shot 59 percent only to trail 65-59 at the break when Smith and DerMarr Johnson hit back-to-back 3s in the closing seconds.
Anthony, named the Western Conference player of the week for the third time earlier in the day, scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Nuggets began to break away, and Smith’s buzzer-beating 3 gave the Nuggets a 105-87 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Smith sank two more 3s to start the fourth, stretching Denver’s lead to 111-87.
The Warriors hit three straight 3-pointers of their own, two by Azubuike in the fourth quarter, pulling to 119-107 in the waning minutes.
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