Nuggets Keep Win Streak Alive

DENVER - (AP) Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points, Linas Kleiza had 22 and the Denver Nuggets won their third straight with a 129-116 victory over the banged-up Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

Chauncey Billups had 14 and Chris Andersen added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who entered playing leading Portland by 1½ games in the Northwest Division and have won eight of their last games.

Jamal Crawford had 30 points and Kelenna Azubuike scored 21 for the Warriors, who have lost four straight and five of their last six.

Golden State, which has not had its full lineup all season, dressed only eight players. Before the game, coach Don Nelson said leading scorer Stephen Jackson will undergo surgery next week to remove a bone fragment in his left big toe and would most likely miss the rest of the season.

Nene returned to the Denver lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a flagrant-2 foul committed in Monday's loss at Phoenix. The center, who is averaging 14.1 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds, scored eight points against the depleted Warriors.

The Nuggets led by nine at the break and scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to take a 79-57 lead. Anthony, coming off a 43-point performance against Dallas on Friday, hit three 3-pointers and J.R. Smith hit another as Denver went on a 13-2 run to take a 104-74 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets rested their starters for the last 12 minutes.

Kleiza, who had scored 12 points in the previous four games combined, had 13 in the second quarter as the Nuggets extended their lead to 66-57 at halftime.

Despite the short bench, the Warriors raced out to a big lead early. A balanced attack blitzed the Nuggets early as Golden State took a 23-9 lead with 4:12 left in the first. Denver quickly recovered, finishing the quarter on a 19-4 run to take a 28-27 lead into the second.


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