OAKLAND, Calif. -- Don Nelson is committed to giving his young Warriors players a chance and also to decreasing the minutes of Al Harrington after describing the forward as "disgruntled" while he waits to be traded.
Nelson got great production from his bench and his old standbys.
Stephen Jackson had 29 points and seven assists and Golden State overcame a poor first quarter and some sloppy second-half play to beat the Denver Nuggets 111-101 on Wednesday night.
Jackson scored during a 6-0 burst by Golden State after J.R. Smith's 3-pointer with 8:32 remaining gave the Nuggets a 90-89 lead and also hit a 20-footer with 1:28 left.
Carmelo Anthony had 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Nuggets, who couldn't do enough on offense without departed playmaker Allen Iverson despite jumping out to a quick 17-4 lead behind seven points from Dahntay Jones.
"We kept our composure," Jackson said. "They came out real aggressive. I think they had something to prove, that they could play without A.I."
Nene added 19 points and 15 rebounds in Denver's first game since dealing Iverson to Detroit on Monday for Chauncey Billups. Billups wasn't available for this game but should be ready to begin his second stint with the Nuggets on Friday against Dallas. Coach George Karl has been waiting for an up-tempo, pass-first point guard of Billups' caliber.
"Hopefully it's a piece that makes it fit," said Karl, who spoke to Billups on Tuesday. "He'll be in Denver tonight. He'll have a physical in the morning and practice sometime tomorrow."
Everybody on the Nuggets seems eager to get Billups in uniform.
"Chauncey will be a big part of our team," Jones said. "The dynamic of this team will change with him."
Kelenna Azubuike added 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench and reserve Brandan Wright scored 14 of his career-high 18 points in the first half to keep Golden State close. He also had a career-best 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Warriors were within 59-58 at the break.
Nelson mixed up his lineup to start the second half, holding out starters Harrington, Andris Biedrins and DeMarcus Nelson -- and that wasn't too surprising.
Nelson is eager for the Warriors to trade Harrington and find a quality player in return. Until then, Wright is going to play more.
"Al wants to be traded and everybody knows that. We'd like to oblige him," Nelson said. "He's playing like he's unhappy. ... We might as well begin making that change now. Brandan is ready to play more. He's going to be a member of our team and Al isn't."
Harrington said he has remained focused on the team.
"That's his excuse for not playing me," Harrington said. "As far as what coach said, I don't care. If he wants to trade me, he can trade me. I'm not a contract that can't be moved. Who am I disgruntled to? If you talk to my teammates, I don't talk about being traded. I'm about the team."
Harrington started and played 15 minutes.
Nelson insisted he is going to play those who can perform, no matter who that might be on a given night.
"I'm not just going to play guys and give them gifts," Nelson said. "They have to earn their way onto the court. ... Pretty simple stuff."
Golden State went 1-2 on a three-game road trip that ended Monday but began a stretch with four of its next five at home. The Warriors, who had given up 101.8 points in their first four games, missed their share of opportunities in the third with sloppy passing and poor shooting on high-percentage shots but hit enough key shots down the stretch.
Denver's Kenyon Martin, who has been nursing a strained hamstring since the Nuggets' last game Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers, added 11 points and seven rebounds. Denver had won 10 of the last 13 meetings against Golden State and four of the past six games in Oakland.
"I think we're a little tired early in the season," Karl said. "We're giving the other team too many opportunities with turnovers."
The Nuggets also acquired Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb from the Pistons in the trade. Samb also was expected in Denver on Wednesday night and was scheduled for a physical Thursday, while the Nuggets will try to buy out McDyess.
Billups is in the second season of a four-year contract worth $46 million with a $14 million option for a fifth year. ... Golden State F Corey Maggette was held out of the game with a strained left hamstring. Ronny Turiaf replaced him in the starting lineup. ... The Warriors' 35 points allowed in the first quarter were their most allowed in single quarter this season. ... Golden State said G Monta Ellis (left ankle surgery) will move from the stationary bike to the elliptical machine this week as part of his rehab work. Ellis is suspended until mid-December.