Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, but Monta Ellis finished with 37 as the Golden State Warriors held off the Denver Nuggets 116-114 on Wednesday in Oakland. We've come to expect high-octane shoot-outs between these teams over the years, and this edition was no exception. The Warriors attempted 92 shots, 28 of which were three-pointers. Both team shot well from distance -- Golden State hit 14 of 28, and Denver sunk 10-24.
The difference, in the end, was the turnover battle. The Warriors are prone to turnovers (No. 21 in the league), but also cause them at a high rate (No. 4). That held true on Wednesday, as the Nuggets had 18 turnovers, uncharacteristic for a team No. 12 in turnover rate this season.
'Melo had four of those turnovers, as did the far less productive Kenyon Martin. J.R. Smith led a comeback charge in the fourth quarter, as the Nuggets trailed by eight midway through the fourth. Smith scored 11 points in the fourth without taking a single three-pointer; that tells you how respected the Golden State interior defense is. Nuggets coach George Karl didn't put 'Melo back in the game until less than five minutes remained; Denver made up four points once he did, but couldn't get close enough to win.
Ellis shot 10-15 in the first half, and 6-15 in the second. As a team the Warriors shot just 6-18 in the fourth as the Nuggets clawed back into the game.