Davis had 23 points and 12 assists and Dunleavy scored 17 points coming off the bench for the first time in two years to help the Golden State Warriors to a 122-114 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
“I thought I could bring something different to the table,” Dunleavy said. “Having that firepower off the bench is great. We’re starting to get our fire back and getting a little bit of an identity.”
“When it counts he knocks down the shots and makes his free throws,” Dunleavy said. “We had to hang on but we played a solid game.”
Troy Murphy also recorded a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Warriors won their second straight at home for only the second time since a four-game streak between Nov. 26-Dec. 2. Mickael Pietrus had 16 points.
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost their fourth straight on the road, and five of six overall. Andre Miller had 22 points and nine assists, Kenyon Martin added 14 points and Earl Boykins 13.
“Sometimes we get frustrated with each other and it affects our defensive intensity,” Nuggets’ coach George Karl said. “We had no focus. We gave them the 3-point shot and we gave them layups.”
Denver whittled away at a 19-point deficit and drew within 119-114 after an Anthony steal and layup with 23.8 seconds left.
Greg Buckner gave the Nuggets a 68-60 lead with a 3-pointer at 8:28 of the third quarter. They didn’t score another field goal for the next seven minutes.
The Warriors reeled off a 24-1 run—with Richardson on the bench with foul trouble—to take an 84-69 edge with just over a minute left. Pietrus scored 14 points in the quarter after being held scoreless in the first half.
“We got moving in the third quarter,” Warriors’ coach Mike Montgomery said. “We got aggressive and forced some turnovers. We were active.”
Davis said it was an indication the Warriors were headed in the right direction.
“We’re right there,” he said. “A lot of the time we’re right on the cusp of being what we can be as far as our talent and energy. It’s going to be our turn to start running off some wins. We’re playing a lot better basketball.”
Davis said his ankle felt better the longer he played.
“I was moving a lot better than I expected before the game,” he said.
Anthony, who has scored 30-plus in 14 games, scored Denver’s lone point during the run when Golden State was called for defensive three-second violation. The Warriors took an 87-73 lead into the final period.
“When you take bad shots and turn the ball over that’s what happens,” Boykins said. “I don’t recall us getting many shots at the basket and that lets teams get runs like that.”
Dunleavy was called for a flagrant foul on Martin—who was driving to the basket at full speed—with 26.6 seconds left in the first half. Martin was not pleased with Dunleavy and began going after him. Murphy tried to restrain Martin and two officials stepped in the middle of confrontation before it could escalate.
Murphy was subsequently called for a technical, helping the Nuggets open a 58-52 halftime advantage.
Richardson hit a reverse dunk on an alley-oop pass from Davis to tie the game at 46 with 3:19 left in the first half.
Davis hit all four of his first-quarter shots, scoring 11 points, as the Warriors took a 28-25 lead after one quarter.
Pietrus, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Tuesday, started his sixth consecutive game. … Dunleavy was out of the starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 8, 2004. … All five Nuggets starters recorded an assist in the first quarter. … The Nuggets and Warriors combined for an NBA high 81 points in the first quarter in their last meeting on Dec. 26 in Oakland. … Martin returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with a left knee bruise. … The Nuggets have trailed by at least 10 points in seven straight games. … Warriors C Andris Biedrins set a career high with six blocked shots.