Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/22

Game 1: Saturday, December 22nd
Game 2: Wednesday, February 27th
Game 3: Friday, April 5th
Game 4: Friday, April 12th

Nuggets 104


Warriors 108

(20-55, 13-24 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, April 5, 2002

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 20 29 27 28104
    GS 28 36 23 21108

    Top Performers

    Den: J. Howard 27 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

    GS: G. Arenas 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    Arenas motivated by home boo birds

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- As several fans began heading toward the exits and two others pulled paper bags over their heads, Gilbert Arenas decided he couldn't stand hearing the boos again.

    Arenas, Golden State's surging rookie guard, scored 25 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 1:02 left Friday night as the Warriors blew a 22-point lead in the second half but rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets 108-104.

    It was a commendable display of tenacity by the Warriors, who hadn't won consecutive games since late December. Golden State is just 8-38 since then, adding an eighth season to the NBA's longest streak of missing the playoffs.

    A game-ending 14-6 run keyed by the promising rookie backcourt of Arenas and Jason Richardson, who scored 22 points, gave the Warriors a glimpse of a future that's not nearly as bleak as their present. By the final seconds, the same fans who booed moments earlier were on their feet, cheering wildly.

    "I was thinking about the fans," said Arenas, who also had six rebounds, six assists and five steals. "If we'd have lost this game, they would have booed us real bad, so that's all I was thinking about."

    Juwan Howard scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half but missed two free throws with 24.9 seconds left for Denver, which had won five of its previous eight.

    Voshon Lenard added 15, but he was 5-of-17 from the field, and his 3-point attempt with 12 seconds left was swatted away by Adonal Foyle, who blocked six shots.

    "We dug a hole for ourselves," Denver coach Mike Evans said. "In the second half, we came out with a better effort, but we just couldn't keep the shots down. We had some shots that just rimmed out."

    Golden State led 77-55 midway through the third quarter, but Denver deployed a zone defense to close within 11 before starting the fourth with a 16-5 run, tying it on George McCloud's 3-pointer with 5:46 left. The Nuggets led by four with 3:05 left, and the familiar boos began to rain down on the Arena court.

    Two fans with prime seats in the lower bowl put on paper bags with eye holes. That's when the Warriors turned things around.

    Saying he was determined to win or lose with the franchise's future, Golden State coach Brian Winters left his prized rookies on the floor throughout the fourth quarter and benched Larry Hughes, who didn't even remove his warmups.

    It wasn't easy: Arenas made six turnovers, and the Warriors won it despite shooting 5-for-18 in the fourth.

    "We just didn't want to lose this game," Arenas said. "We'd been doing it all year -- just blowing it. Deep down inside, no one wanted to blow this game. We just had to stick together."

    They did. Arenas grabbed a loose ball and hit a key jumper before Bob Sura, who scored 19 points, forced a turnover and made two free throws with 44 seconds left for a 105-102 lead. Antawn Jamison, who had 17 points, hit two more free throws to seal it.

    "In the past, we probably would have lost this game," Jamison said. "You have to be frustrated having a big lead and losing it so quickly, but we didn't give up."

    McCloud had 12 points and nine rebounds before fouling out for the Nuggets, who had six players in double figures.

    "When you're trying to come back from 20 points down, you use a lot of energy," McCloud said. "We kind of ran out of gas at the end."

    Game notes

    The teams finish their season series next week in Denver. ... Early in the second quarter, Erick Dampier blocked Zendon Hamilton's layup attempt so ferociously that the ball bounced on the court and up into the third row of seats behind the Nuggets' bench. ... Evans was enraged by referee Hue Hollins, who made a series of calls against the Nuggets. "Call the game, Hue!" Evans screamed. "If you're not going to call the game, we shouldn't even come out of the locker room!" ... For the first time in 23 tries, the Warriors won a game in which they were outrebounded.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 108
    FGM-FGA 39-99 (.394) 41-88 (.466)
    3PM-3PA 3-14 (.214) 4-14 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 23-34 (.676) 22-33 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 24-55 16-54
    Assists 18 20
    Turnovers 17 20
    Steals 10 10
    Blocks 4 11
    Fast Break Points 3 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 29 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Juwan Howard Howard
    Points: 27
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 25
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 1