The Golden State Warriors haven’t been above .500 this late in a season since 1993-94, the last time they made the playoffs.
The Warriors will look to continue their impressive play of late when they take on the surprising Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Jason Richardson scored 25 points, and Nick Van Exel hit a running shot in the lane with 18.8 seconds left to help the Warriors snap a 15-game losing streak against the Sacramento Kings with a 98-91 victory Friday.
Van Exel scored five points in the final moments as the Warriors barely held on for an impressive sweep of the NBA’s top two teams. Golden State beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-98 on Tuesday.
“These past two wins makes going on the road a whole lot easier,” Warriors guard Speedy Claxton said. “We have a very tough stretch coming up, and getting these wins is definitely huge for us going on the road.”
The Nuggets, who are coming off a 95-94 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday, have won 10 of their last 12 at home.
Carmelo Anthony scored 22 of his career-high 37 points in the third quarter, shooting 9-of-11 with four 3-pointers in the period, to lead Denver. Anthony played despite not practicing all week because of a sprained right toe. He finished 13-for-22 from the field.
“He scores in a variety of ways, with the 3, posting up off the drive,” Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “And he was looking for his teammates, too.”
Marcus Camby was a game-time decision after missing a game with a lower back strain. He played 27 minutes and had six points and six rebounds.
Andre Miller, who had 22 points and seven assists, is averaging 21.3 points and 7.6 assists in his last three games. The guard is third on the team with 15.8 points per game.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 26): Warriors - 3rd place (tied), 6 GB, Pacific Division. Nuggets - 3rd place, 2 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Warriors - Richardson, 18.1 ppg; Dampier, 11.7 rpg; Van Exel, 5.8 apg. Nuggets - Anthony, 19.0 ppg; Camby, 9.4 rpg; Miller, 6.1 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Nuggets, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 5; Nuggets, 98-91. At Denver, Anthony scored 28 points and Lenard added 18 to lead the Nuggets.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Warriors - 4-8 on the road; Nuggets - 12-3 at home.