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Miller sparks Nuggets' comeback win

The SportsXchange

DENVER - The Denver Nuggets have one of the youngest rosters in the league, but it was an old veteran who sparked them to their fifth straight win.

Andre Miller scored eight points and had two steals in the final period, and the Nuggets used an 18-2 run to start the fourth quarter to beat the Golden State Warriors 116-105 on Sunday night.

Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points and Ty Lawson had 20 points and five assists for the Nuggets, who scored 15 straight points to overcome 29 points from Stephen Curry.

The win gives Denver the season series against Golden State. The Nuggets won three of the four games and will have the tiebreaker between the teams in playoff positioning in April.

It would not have happened without Miller's play. The 14-year veteran had two layups and a halfcourt steal from Jarrett Jack to help Denver rally from 10 down.

"I can't say enough about Andre," teammate Kenneth Faried said. "What he did with Jack, when he got that steal at center court and was able to finish, that really stopped their momentum."

Golden State had things rolling until the fourth quarter. The Warriors committed seven of their 18 turnovers in the final period and lost for the third time in the last four games.

"We just got a little sloppy with it; we didn't get as good of possessions," Curry said. "On the road against a team like Denver it fueled their offense and got them easy baskets. Kind of deflated us a little bit."

Wilson Chandler scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and had six steals for Denver in his first game since Nov. 12.

The Warriors led 87-79 after three quarters before Denver surged back. Down 89-83, the Nuggets hit five straight shots to go up 98-89. They turned up their defense, too, forcing three turnovers and four consecutive misses by Golden State.

"We didn't take care of the basketball at the start of the fourth quarter," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "We gave them life by being careless with the basketball. This is a team that feeds off of that. They got it going in transition and they hurt us."

Curry brought the Warriors back to within 100-97 with two straight 3-pointers, but Corey Brewer answered with a 3-pointer of his own and Gallinari had putback dunk to extend the Nuggets' lead to 105-97 with 5:21 left.

"Urgency, desperation, professional pride," Nuggets coach George Karl said of the comeback win. "The stat sheet makes it look like it was an easy win, but they are a pretty quality basketball team playing at a high level."

David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Harrison Barnes scored 21 points for the Warriors.

Golden State led 54-52 at halftime before the Nuggets rallied to take a 62-61 lead early in the third quarter. But the Warriors, who shot 56 percent from the field through the first 36 minutes, got hot from the outside. Barnes hit three 3-pointers in the period and Carl Landry finished the quarter with two baskets to give Golden State an eight-point lead heading into the fourth.

"We did everything right. We had an (eight-point) lead going into the fourth," Curry said. "That's where we want to be on the road."

Curry scored 21 first-half points, including 16 in the second quarter, as the Warriors built a seven-point lead. Lawson had 16 at the break and helped keep Denver within a bucket at halftime.

"Ty was a big part of us staying in the game in the first half," Karl said.

NOTES: Karl is three wins away from 1,100 in his career and two wins shy of tying his good friend, Larry Brown, for sixth on the all-time NBA list. He is 11 wins shy of becoming the second coach to win 400 games for the Nuggets. Doug Moe has the most with 432. ... Kosta Koufos scored his 1,000th career point in the third quarter. ... Karl said Chandler's return to the court could bolster the team defensively more than offensively. "When we play small, we have to put Gallinari there (at power forward) and now we can use Wilson there some," Karl said. "He is another athlete that is going to help us." ... Lee is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. He leads the league in 20-point, 10-rebound games with 16, three more than LeBron James.
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