DENVER (AP)—George Karl pushed and prodded his Nuggets to speed up the game.
“We can push it faster,” the Denver coach implored.
The Nuggets were already leading the league in scoring, so how much faster could they go? Denver found another gear in a 140-129 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
It’s the most points the Nuggets have scored since a 140-122 win over Sacramento on March 29, 1991. Golden State hadn’t give up that many since surrendering 143 against Portland on Jan. 26, 1993.
“It (felt) like a recreation game,” Carmelo Anthony said. “You’re just out there running. You score and they come back down and score, keep going back and forth.”
Anthony and J.R. Smith provided a solid 1-2 punch for Denver. Anthony had 30 points—he’s now scored 30 or more in eight of his last nine games—and Smith added 31, including four 3-pointers.
“We’ve gotten to know each other. We’re like twins,” Smith said.
The emergence of Smith has taken the pressure off of Anthony. He doesn’t feel like he has to carry the scoring load by himself.
“I’m trying to find him,” Anthony said. “I’m trying to get everyone involved early in the game.”
Defense was definitely optional in this game. Neither side had many stops.
“This was unheard of,” Warriors guard Jason Richardson said. “This was depressing.”
The loss spoiled a career-high 31 points for Andris Biedrins.
“I like the 31 points,” he said. “I like winning better. We just played really bad defense.”
The Nuggets didn’t play much better on the defensive end and know a lecture from Karl is waiting.
“The offense we’re playing right now, I think we can be (a great) team,” Anthony said. “With the defense, we can’t.”
Anthony was handed a stat sheet after the game and studied it, shaking his head in admiration. The stats weren’t from Denver’s game, but Allen Iverson’s 46-point outburst against Chicago.
“Not a bad game,” Anthony said, looking at Iverson’s numbers.
Anthony still leads the league in scoring—barely. He’s averaging 30.9 and Iverson now has a 30.4-point average. That wasn’t on his mind after the game, though.
“We almost had 150 points, that’s impressive,” he said. “I’ve never done that before. You can’t get mad at the win.”
Golden State coach Don Nelson was disturbed by his team’s 26 turnovers.
“The turnovers let us down,” he said. “Most of them were self-inflicted. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot or you’ll have a game like that against somebody that is looking to run the ball.”
The up-and-down game wasn’t surprising, since Denver entered the contest leading the league in points per game (108.3) and Golden State was fourth (105.8).
Earl Boykins had 10 assists and 17 points for the Nuggets. He’d missed the last two games with a stomach virus.
“My energy level is a lot better,” he said.
Ask him again in the morning after playing in a basketball game that turned into a track meet.
The Warriors took to the road after a seven-game homestand. The Warriors play a quarter of their home games in November. … Denver’s 42 assists were the most since it had 42 at Portland on Jan. 16, 1990. … Nene missed his seventh straight game with a right knee contusion. … Mickael Pietrus missed the second half with the flu. He had five points. … Denver’s biggest lead was 21 points. … The Nuggets scored 62 points in the paint. … Reggie Evans was lost in the second quarter with a concussion after Biedrins hit him in the head with his elbow.