Anthony continues scoring tear as Nuggets beat Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- George Karl's Denver team is far from
where the coach wants it, squeaking out wins in spite of its
struggles in crunch time.

Carmelo Anthony had 33 points and nine rebounds, and the Nuggets
held off the Golden State Warriors 115-112 on Wednesday night for
their third straight victory.

"We're not executing with much composure down the stretch,"
Karl said. "We're still winning games, and as I've told people,
the improvements we need to make can be made. Right now the team
has to stay set on getting better."

After Mickael Pietrus hit two free throws with 37 seconds left,
Anthony was whistled for an offensive foul on the other end, giving
Golden State a chance to tie. Pietrus and Monta Ellis both missed
3-point tries in the final 10 seconds.

"That was the shot we wanted," Pietrus said. "Sometimes you
miss, sometimes you make. That's like life sometimes."

But Andre Miller failed on two free throws with 1.9 seconds left
and the Warriors had one final chance -- yet Mike Dunleavy missed a
desperation 3 at the buzzer under pressure.

Anthony hit six of his first seven shots, went 12-for-18 on the
night and also added four assists and three steals in his seventh
30-point performance in eight games, helping the Nuggets sustain a
late Golden State rally.

"We've been in that situation in every game we've played so far
in the fourth quarter," Anthony said. "It came down to our
defense. Everybody's got to step up."

Jason Richardson had a steal and breakaway dunk with 6:50 to
play for the Warriors that made it a two-point game and Troy
Murphy's 3-pointer tied it at 102 with 5:34 left. The Warriors got
several key rebounds late from Andris Biedrins, who had a
career-high seven blocks.

Marcus Camby had 14 points and 16 rebounds and Miller added 17
points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who showed few signs of
being fatigued from playing on back-to-back nights -- aside from
committing 25 turnovers.

Richardson, who has struggled so far coming off arthroscopic
surgery on his left knee in August, pulled out some of his
impressive old moves and had to like the results: He had a powerful
one-handed slam in the second quarter and a pretty reverse layup in
the third on which he pump faked to drop his defender. He finished
with a season-high 24 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four
steals in a solid all-around effort.

"I just try to bring energy. We didn't have it tonight,"
Richardson said.

Golden State leading scorer Baron Davis returned to the lineup
after not dressing in a 113-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday
night. He was banged in the ribs during last Saturday's game
against Seattle.

Ellis, a 21-year-old second-year guard, had 11 points and a
career-high nine assists after back-to-back 31-point performances.

Pietrus scored six straight points with three-point plays on
consecutive possessions, pulling the Warriors within 93-89 with
10:33 remaining. The first sequence featured Pietrus hitting three
free throws.

The Warriors concluded their season-high, seven-game homestand
with a second straight defeat. Golden State had its six-game home
winning streak snapped against the Suns.

"It was probably one of our best defensive games if you take
away our turnovers," Karl said. "I don't think they played very
efficiently against our defense."

Karl wanted to get some more minutes for Yakhouba Diawara after
Miller played 41 minutes Tuesday night. Miller still logged 39
minutes, 56 seconds.

Murphy also returned to the starting lineup for the first time
since Nov. 11 after playing 11 minutes Monday following three games
on the sidelines with a sore left Achilles' tendon. He had 17
points and seven boards but the Warriors were outrebounded 54-34.

Warriors center Adonal Foyle received loud cheers when he
checked in for the first time with 8:57 remaining in the third
quarter. He scored moments later and the crowd went wild, then
grabbed a rebound on the other end to more applause. Foyle had
played only five minutes -- in one game -- in Golden State's previous
five contests.

The Nuggets hit 15 of their 25 (60 percent) first-quarter shots
to build a 34-26 lead and led by as many as 10 before the Warriors
worked their way back into it and pulled within 61-58 at the

Game notes
Joe Smith had a great block of Pietrus late in the second
quarter. ... Denver G Earl Boykins, nursing the flu, didn't travel
with the team as he recovers. "Very early we knew he wasn't
coming," Karl said. ... The Nuggets' Nene, who missed his sixth
straight game, had an MRI in recent days on his bruised right knee.
"It was good. It was positive," Karl said. ... Denver F Eduardo
Najera was whistled for a technical for arguing late in the second.
... Ellis is the Warriors' lone player to score in double figures
in all 12 games.