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Crawford, Barnes lead Warriors over Nuggets
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Crawford netted a career-best 41 points and the Golden State Warriors will head into the postseason with momentum following a 116-112 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Crawford shot 16-of-28 and finished with the most points by a Warriors reserve in 40 years. Harrison Barnes also went for a career-high, pouring in 30 points to help Golden State split the season series with Denver at two games apiece.
With starters Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and David Lee resting and Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) out with an injury, seldom-used Hilton Armstrong recorded a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double and Steve Blake flirted with a triple-double, recording eight points, seven boards and 10 assists.
"I thought we were outstanding," praised Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. "They battled despite the fatigue and the demand on their bodies."
Golden State (51-31) earned the No. 6 seed in the West and will take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
Randy Foye led Denver (36-46) with 31 points and eight assists, and Anthony Randolph scored 19 points off the bench.
"Our team was very, very tired," said Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw. "We've been grinding these guys hard down the stretch."
Barnes and Marreese Speights had 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the first quarter to boost the Warriors to a 36-27 lead. Denver had its deficit down to four late in the first half, but Crawford scored eight in the final 3:11 and the lead was 66-52 at halftime.
The margin hovered between four and 15 in the third, with Foye's personal 5-0 run to end the frame pulling the Nuggets within 88-80.
Denver turned Foye's surge into a 15-0 run extending into the fourth to take a 90-88 lead. The hosts held multiple one-possession leads in the final stanza, but timely buckets by Crawford and Blake kept the visitors within striking distance.
It was tied 108-108 with 2:30 remaining on a pair of Foye free throws before Crawford gave Golden State the lead for the final time with a runner over Randolph.
Draymond Green nearly made a costly mistake in the final seconds. With the Warriors holding a three-point lead, Foye rose up for a deep triple that fell short and off to the left. Green grabbed the rebound, but it appeared to be in line to hit the rim. After a lengthy review, officials called it a clean play and Barnes put the game away at the line.
Cazzie Russell holds the Warriors record for points off the bench with 46, set on March 24, 1974 ... Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets ... Denver guard Aaron Brooks received two technicals and was ejected midway through the third quarter ... The Warriors used just eight players, with regular rotation players Green and Klay Thompson playing less than eight minutes apiece.
04/17 03:22:48 ET
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