Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/27

Game 1: Monday, December 27th
Game 2: Monday, January 17th
Game 3: Saturday, February 5th
Game 4: Monday, April 11th

Nuggets 97

(15-22, 4-13 away)

Warriors 107

(12-27, 9-11 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 17, 2005

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 21 31 22 2397
    GS 26 23 31 27107

    Top Performers

    Den: C. Anthony 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl

    GS: J. Richardson 42 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Nuggets have no answers for Richardson

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Richardson used his injury time to visualize all the ways he could play better.

    Richardson did everything in his first game back, scoring a career-high 42 points and matching his career best with eight assists in the Warriors' 107-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

    "You dream of it. You envision it when you're on the bench and at home waiting to come back," he said. "I couldn't believe I did it."

    The Warriors were winless in his absence, but ended a season-long nine-game losing streak thanks to the big emotional boost they got having their leading scorer back from a sprained ankle. He scored 30 or more in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He had 35 points in a 111-105 win over Toronto on Dec. 29, Golden State's last victory.

    Richardson sure didn't appear out of shape -- one of coach Mike Montgomery's concerns coming in -- playing 39 minutes and shooting 17-for-30 (56 percent). He scored 11 of his points in the third quarter, including a pretty two-handed backward slam, and even had a huge blocked shot of Kenyon Martin late in the period that sent the ball into the Nuggets bench.

    "Much needed. Much appreciated. Nice to have J.R. back, isn't it?" Montgomery said. "I don't think in my wildest dreams I'd have thought he'd go for 42 and eight assists, but I'll take it."

    Richardson scored eight straight in the fourth quarter and also finished with three steals. Troy Murphy added 22 points and 17 rebounds and Speedy Claxton had 18 points, seven assists, five steals and four rebounds.

    Nuggets coach Michael Cooper, a former defensive specialist with the Lakers, was impressed with Richardson's return.

    "I think in my prime it would have been difficult to stop that young man tonight," Cooper said.

    Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and eight rebounds and Andre Miller added 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Denver's seventh loss in eight games. The undermanned Nuggets hurt their chances with sloppy ballhandling, committing 22 turnovers -- 10 by the usually reliable Miller -- in their eighth straight road defeat.

    "We beat ourselves again," Miller said.

    DeMarr Johnson added a season-high 22 points off the bench for Denver, which played without suspended forwards Marcus Camby and Nene and center Francisco Elson. The trio combined for 35 points in the last game at Golden State, a 104-101 loss Dec. 27.

    Nene was suspended four games for fighting, and Camby and Elson one game each for leaving the bench during an altercation in the third quarter of a 93-83 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

    The Nuggets used a 9-2 run to start the third quarter, but Golden State then scored 12 unanswered points and went on an 18-3 spurt to make it 69-64.

    Tiny Earl Boykins, a former Warrior who's 5-foot-5, contributed 16 points, four rebounds and four assists for Denver. Martin had 11 points and 13 boards.

    "We didn't score or execute at the end of the game," Boykins said. "That's the way we've been losing games."

    Golden State, which also had a nine-game skid last season, avoided its first 10-game losing streak since March 9-24, 2002.

    The Warriors used a 14-2 run starting late in the first quarter to take the lead, but the Nuggets answered with a 16-0 spurt and led 52-49 at the break behind 17 points from Anthony.

    Richardson had 19 before halftime, as fans hollered "Welcome back, JRich!"

    He is the first Golden State player to score 35 or more points in back-to-back games since Antawn Jamison had 51 in consecutive games on Dec. 3 and 6, 2000.

    "He worked hard for that," teammate Mickael Pietrus said. "He had a great night. He came out really focused, and he did it."

    Game notes

    The last time the Nuggets came to town, coach Jeff Bzdelik was fired the following day and Cooper was promoted from assistant to interim head coach. Cooper is 2-7 since taking over and the Warriors are 2-9. ... The Warriors don't play again until Friday against the Lakers in Los Angeles, and Montgomery gave his team Tuesday off. ... Martin Luther King Jr. speech excerpts were shown along with commentary about his influence from Warriors players. ... Seldom-used Golden State C Dale Davis hinted that he'd like to be traded before the Feb. 24 deadline. "Of course my situation hasn't been the best here and you always want to keep your options open," he said. "I'm definitely ready to pursue what makes sense. If I'm really not going to be used here, it's more than likely I'll be moved."


    On the Net:

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    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 107
    FGM-FGA 37-77 (.481) 43-90 (.478)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 6-20 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 17-20 (.850) 15-17 (.882)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 14-40
    Assists 22 23
    Turnovers 22 13
    Steals 7 13
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 17 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 10 14

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Carmelo Anthony Anthony
    Points: 24
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 42
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1