Davis, Warriors blast shorthanded NuggetsMar 8, 2007 - 7:40 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Coach Don Nelson has a reason to start smiling again.
Baron Davis collected 22 points and nine assists as the Golden State Warriors coasted to a 110-96 victory over the undermanned Denver Nuggets, who were without All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
Al Harrington scored 20 points and Stephen Jackson added 18 and eight assists for the Warriors, who are just 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff chase.
After dealing with several key injuries to his starting lineup this season, Nelson finally can put a consistent rotation out on the floor due to the returns of Davis and Jason Richardson.
"Now that we got everyone together, it's going to be fun to see how well we can play," Nelson said.
Davis just returned one game ago following a knee injury and Richardson has played in nine consecutive contests for the first time since the opening month of the season.
"This is what we envisioned," Richardson said. "We are really putting forth the effort, guys are talking, they're helping, and this is how we envisioned the team. We are playing as a team and playing as a whole."
"Everybody is back and we're playing great basketball right now," Warriors guard Monta Ellis said. "We just need to continue doing what we are doing. We picked up the defensive intensity. We were putting pressure on the ball and that allowed us to come out with the win."
Anthony, who leads the NBA in scoring at 30.2 points per game, missed the contest because of the birth of his first child.
"When you've got 30 points missing from your lineup everybody has a little more stress and little more responsibility to what they have to contribute to be successful and we came up short there in the second half," Denver coach George Karl said.
"We definitely missed Carmelo, that's 30 points from the lineup right there," Nuggets guard Allen Iverson said.
Denver used an impressive 22-5 second-quarter surge to forge a 48-36 advantage with 4:46 remaining in the first half.
However, the Warriors responded with a commanding 37-14 burst bridging the middle two periods to create a 73-62 lead, capped by Harrington's jam at the 5:35 mark. Golden State made six 3-pointers during the stretch.
"We turned our defense up," Harrington said. "In the locker room, Coach got after us and said we haven't started playing yet and guys responded. We had an 11-point quarter defensively and if we can do that, we'll win our fair share of games."
The Nuggets shot a dismal 4-of-23 in the third period and trailed, 81-69, and never got closer than nine points in the decisive quarter.
"They made their run which we expected them to, we just couldn't match them," Iverson said.
Iverson netted 35 points and DerMarr Johnson added 15 for Denver, which has a one-half game advantage over the Clippers for seventh place in the conference.
GOLDEN STATE 110 FINAL
Mar 8 12:55 AM
GOLDEN STATE 81 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 8 12:23 AM
GOLDEN STATE 56 HALFTIME
Mar 7 11:38 PM
GOLDEN STATE 31 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 7 11:06 PM
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