Nuggets 107, Warriors 101 (2 OT)

Dave Del Grande, Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND -- Despite playing for the fourth time in five nights, the Denver Nuggets stored up enough energy to score the final 11 points of the second overtime and stun the foul-shooting-plagued Golden State Warriors 107-101 Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
Andre Iguodala and Dalino Gallinari buried 3-pointers on successive possessions as the Nuggets, down 101-96 with just over two minutes to play in the second extra session, rallied improbably to their fourth consecutive win after opening the season with three straight losses.
Iguodala and Gallinari each dropped in a pair of subsequent free throws to ice a victory that appeared destined for the Golden State column at stages late in regulation and in both overtimes.
Warriors forward Carl Landry missed two free throws with his team up 101-97 and 1:22 to go in the second OT. The Nuggets immediately countered with Iguodala's 3-pointer to make it a one-point game and set up the one-sided finish.
After a scoreless first half, Gallinari had 21 points to top the Nuggets. Iguodala added 19, and Kenneth Faried contributed an 18-point, 17-rebound double-double to the victory.
Klay Thompson, whose two missed free throws in the final seconds of the first overtime kept the Nuggets afloat, paced Golden State with 23 points. Landry had 22, including two interior hoops during a 7-0 Warriors run early in the second overtime that helped Golden State match its biggest lead of the night at 101-96.
The Warriors blew opportunities to end the game five and 10 minutes earlier, with the end of the first overtime particularly aggravating to the home crowd.
Stephen Curry's 17-footer with 47.8 seconds remaining in the first extra session gave Golden State a 94-92 lead. When Iguodala and Andre Miller both failed on the Denver end, the Nuggets had no choice but to foul Thompson with 13.0 seconds left.
The second-year guard, who entered the game having made 14 of his 17 foul shots, proceeded to miss both attempts, opening the door for Gallinari to tie the game on a driving dunk with 2.1 seconds left.
The Warriors couldn't get off a shot following a timeout, sending the game to a second overtime.
Both teams had a chance to break an 86-all tie in the final 28.8 seconds of regulation, with the Warriors getting the ultimate opportunity after forcing a Miller turnover with 7.4 seconds left.
Jarrett Jack, whose driving hoop with 28.8 seconds had drawn Golden State even, couldn't duplicate his feat, missing badly on a runner down the right side of the lane with little time remaining.
Denver led 40-39 after an exhausting first half. With 64 misses in 96 shot attempts and 10 in 21 free throws, the two clubs spent a majority of the first 24 minutes chasing down 58 rebounds.
The Nuggets' lead was more a result of the Warriors' failures than anything else. Golden State finished the first quarter in an 0-for-10 slump, a 5:17 stretch during which the Nuggets extended a one-point lead into a 24-13 advantage. Miller and Iguodala each had a pair of hoops in the 10-0 run.
But then the visitors took their turn misfiring, hurting themselves as much from the line as from the field. The Nuggets finished the half with more misses (eight) than makes (seven) from the stripe, failing to take full advantage of a 15-6 edge over the home team in free-throw attempts.
Interestingly, it was at the line that the Warriors' highlight of the first half occurred.
Andris Biedrins, pressed into extended minutes of action due equally to Andrew Bogut's ankle injury and Festus Ezeli's ineffectiveness, brought down the house with back-to-back successes at the line with 6:09 remaining in the half. The two makes were double his entire season's output at the stripe last season.
NOTES: The Nuggets and Warriors both entered the game sharing the unusual distinction of having had an opponent record a double-double against them in each game this season. In fact, both had allowed seven in their first six games, matching Dallas for the league lead. ... Coaches George Karl, a cancer survivor himself, and Mark Jackson wore purple wristbands as part of an awareness campaign supporting referee Greg Willard in his battle with pancreatic cancer. "Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with him, his family and the NBA family," Jackson assured before the game. ... Karl took time to praise his former boss and longtime colleague, Don Nelson, whose Hall of Fame enshrinement will be honored at the Warriors' next home game -- Wednesday against the Hawks. "His basketball persona is something that should be in the Hall of Fame," said Karl, like Nelson a former Warriors coach. "He contributed to me; I didn't contribute to him. I stole more from him than he stole from me." ... Filipino-American rapper of The Black Eyed Peas participated in the festivities honoring the Warriors' fifth annual Filipino Heritage Night.

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