For one night at least, the Denver Nuggets will have to do without their star forward in their push for a playoff spot.
Anthony, who leads the NBA with 30.2 points per game, is not traveling with the team so that he can be with his fiancee, actress La La Vazquez, for the birth of their first child.
“I’m not going to Golden State. Straight to the hospital tonight,” he said after Tuesday’s 106-91 win over the New Orleans Hornets. “She is fine right now. I don’t think anything is going to happen tonight.”
Something did happen on Wednesday afternoon, when Anthony became a father as Vazquez gave birth to a son, Kiyan.
Anthony scored 21 points against the Hornets, but had plenty of help as four teammates also scored in double figures. Allen Iverson, who is averaging 28.0 points per game, led the Nuggets (29-29) with 25 and J.R. Smith made a surprise return after missing five games with a left knee injury.
The Nuggets, who have won three of four, are in seventh place in the Western Conference, just one game ahead of the eighth-place Los Angeles Clippers.
“We need any win we can get,” Iverson said. “We have to concentrate on one game at a time and just worry about the game we are playing. Tonight was a big game, but the rest of the games from here on out are going to be big games.”
After the game, coach George Karl tried to downplay comments he made in a Denver Post column in which he said Anthony wasn’t listening and was frustrated.
“The NBA is not a perfect coaching forum. It never has been and never will be,” he said. “I still believe, as I tell them after I criticize them, that I think you can be (darn) good. Do you want to be (darn) good? Show me.
“What disappoints me about this situation we are in now is that we have a crowd base that wants to pick us up and cheer for us and get excited and like the team and fall in love, but we are playing too much muddy basketball to get them behind us.”
Denver has won seven of its last eight games against the Warriors (27-35), including four in a row since a 122-114 defeat at Golden State on Feb. 6, 2006.
The Warriors ended a season-high six-game losing streak with Monday’s 111-93 victory at Detroit. Jason Richardson scored a season-high 29 points for Golden State, which also ended a seven-game road losing streak.
The Warriors are 20-10 on their home court. They are in 12th place in the Western Conference, but just three games behind the Clippers for the last postseason spot in the conference.
“We need to take this as a positive and let this game change our season,” said Stephen Jackson, who added 14 points. “There’s still time to get this turned around.”
Jackson returned after missing four games with a toe injury, while Baron Davis - who scored 15 - came back after sitting out 13 games with a knee injury.
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