DENVER (AP)—New Denver coach George Karl made sure the Nuggets kept track of Golden State’s high-scoring Jason Richardson.
Kenyon Martin had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Denver limited Richardson to 13 points in the Nuggets’ 107-91 victory over the Warriors on Saturday night. Richardson had 42 points in his last game against Denver, a Golden State victory in January.
“We talked about him a lot and wanted to see him see a crowd,” Karl said. “Make him be aware that we knew what he did to us, show him a lot of double-teams on him and challenge every shot.”
Carmelo Anthony added 18 points to help the Nuggets improve to 4-1 under Karl.
“I was going to make sure he wasn’t going to give us 42 tonight,” said Greg Buckner, one of several Nuggets assigned to Richardson. “I made him try to make him work for the ball. The last time he got the ball too easy.”
Richardson, who was 17-for-30 in the Jan. 17 game against Denver in Oakland, was 5-for-15 from the field Saturday. The Nuggets alternated Buckner and DerMarr Johnson on Richardson, who averaged 30 points in his previous three games.
“Buckner and Johnson did a really good job defending me,” said Richardson, who put up air balls on two of his first three shots. “They were limiting my touches.”
And no one picked up the slack. Speedy Claxton had 17 points for Golden State, 1-7 in its last eight.
“We looked to Jason a lot tonight, and he was struggling,” Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. “When he’s struggling it kind of carries over onto the bench.”
The Warriors made only 14 of 44 shots in the first half and trailed 66-42 at the break. Claxton’s layup and 3-pointer made it 46-34, but Anthony hit three jumpers and the Nuggets outscored the Warriors 18-8 in the final 4:52 of the half.
“We took it personal that they beat us twice and it was time for us to pay them back,” said Martin, 9-for-15 from the field. “We were aggressive from the start and we gave them a mind-set that we weren’t going to be denied.”
Martin had 10 points on baskets inside the paint as Denver maintained its 20-point lead throughout much of the third quarter. Jumpers by Richardson and Adonal Foyle got Golden State as close as 76-56, but a dunk by Anthony enabled Denver to take an 89-67 edge into the fourth quarter.
Martin and Anthony played only the first 2 minutes of the final period and left with the Nuggets ahead 92-69.
“We didn’t have much to hang our hat on tonight and the result shows that,” Montgomery said.
Golden State’s Clifford Robinson sat out the third game of a five-game suspension. … Troy Murphy has been limited to some conditioning while recovering from a hairline fracture of his left thumb. … Anthony left the game briefly in the third quarter after being poked in the eye, but returned and had a two-fisted dunk late in the quarter. … Anthony and Martin combined for 26 points in the first half.