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Nuggets again explode in second half, beat Warriors

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets have made it a habit to wait until the second half to get things going.

It hasn't made for pleasant chats in the locker room, but it has added up to three consecutive wins.

Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 29 points, Danilo Gallinari had 20 points and the Nuggets used a strong start to the second half to beat the Golden State Warriors 102-91 on Friday night.

Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists for the Nuggets.

"We've been doing good adjusting out of halftime," Iguodala said. "The only negative is we can't let ourselves get down. We've got to be ready to start off well, take leads in the first half and try to put them away with those big runs in the third quarter."

The Nuggets did do one thing consistently -- bottle up the Warriors' top offensive weapons. Golden State leading scorer Stephen Curry was held to six points and didn't score until late in the fourth quarter.

Klay Thompson was shut out in the second half after scoring 16 in the first 24 minutes.

"It was our defense. Our best offense came off our best defense," Gallinari said. "We did a better job on defense in the second half."

David Lee had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Carl Landry came off the bench to pitch in 19 points for the Warriors.

The Nuggets used a couple of runs to take control of the game. They led 82-74 with 10 minutes left when they put it away with their second run of the second half.

Iguodala had a layup, JaVale McGee was fouled on an alley-oop and hit the free throw and Iguodala hit a driving dunk that gave Denver a 91-74 lead with 7:28 left, their biggest lead of the game.

Curry took only three shots into the fourth and finally scored on a 3-pointer with 3:21 left. He added another with 1:35 left.

He avoided going scoreless for the first time since his rookie season in 2009.

"I don't know. It was a rough one out there for everybody," Curry said. "I was coming back and forth off the bench and missed a lot of time in the first half. That's no excuse. I have to be more aggressive."

The Warriors came out cold in the second half, missing their first nine shots and watching their six-point lead turn into a nine-point deficit. Iguodala led the way with two 3-pointers and a three-point play to spark a 17-0 run that began at the end of the first half.

"I was disappointed in the way we came out of the locker room for the third quarter," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "Then it snowballed from there."

Lawson had six points as the Nuggets took control.

Without Curry's scoring the Warriors looked for scoring from other players and Landry and Jarrett Jack did their part. Landry scored six consecutive points in one stretch to keep Golden State close, but Lawson hit a couple of shots to help Denver take a 78-70 lead heading into the fourth.

Thompson had 16 points and Lee scored 13 as the Warriors took a 53-47 lead at the half.

Gallinari had 12 points and Ty Lawson scored 11 for Denver at the break.

Curry didn't attempt a shot in the first half and was saddled with three fouls. He was limited to 13 minutes.

"Ty's pressure in the last couple of games has been getting better," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He's understanding he can be a pest on that end of the court. (Curry) didn't get any open shots and we picked him up in transition."

Curry's teammates picked up the slack. Thompson was 4 for 5 from 3-point range and Lee provided some scoring punch with 13 to pace Golden State.

The Warriors' bench also chipped in. Jarrett Jack had 10 points, Landry and Charles Jenkins six each to help the Warriors in the first half.

With the game tied 44-44 at the 2:54 mark, Lee hit two layups and Thompson drained a 3-pointer to give Golden State a 51-45 lead.

Jack hit a runner in the lane before Lawson's two free throws cut the deficit to six at the break.

NOTES: Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler sat out his fifth game in a row because of lingering issues with his surgically repaired left hip. He has not played since Nov. 12 against Phoenix. ... This is the second time the teams have played. They will play again Thursday in Oakland, meaning they'll have played 75 percent of their scheduled games in their first 16 of the season. ... The Nuggets came into the game first in the league in rebounding and the Warriors are fourth.
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