Nuggets 123, Warriors 116

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Denver forward J.J. Hickson stripped Golden State guard Stephen Curry at the top of the key and raced 70 feet for a layup with 48.7 seconds to play, short-circuiting a Warriors rally and lifting the Nuggets to a 123-116 victory Wednesday night.

The Warriors lost hours after they announced the acquisition of guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal that saw Golden State backup point guard Toney Douglas move to the Miami Heat.

The Nuggets, who lost three consecutive games in Oakland while dropping a first-round playoff series last season, trailed 116-115 before Hickson got into the Golden State defense for a short jumper that gave Denver a one-point lead with 1:04 to go.

The Warriors then put the ball in the hands of Curry, who attracted the 6-foot-9 Hickson in a switch. Before Curry could use his quickness to get around the taller foe, Hickson swiped the ball and ran downcourt for the critical hoop that put the Nuggets up 119-116.

Fouled on the play by Harrison Barnes, Hickson missed the free throw, but the Nuggets were able to gather a long rebound, after which Ty Lawson missed a jumper.

Hickson again played the role of the hero, grabbing the offensive rebound and feeding Lawson, whose two free throws with 21.0 seconds remaining iced the win.

Hickson's offensive board gave him 24 rebounds to go with 13 points. Lawson also recorded a double-double for the Nuggets (20-18) with 22 points and 11 assists.

Backup guard Nate Robinson led Denver with 24 points. Forward Wilson Chandler added 22, and guard Randy Foye had 21.

Robinson (three) and Foye (four) combined for seven 3-pointers as the Nuggets buried 12 of 24 from beyond the arc to outduel the Warriors, who misfired on 19 of their 28 3-point attempts.

Forward David Lee led the Warriors (25-15) with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Curry finished with 24 points, and backcourt mate Klay Thompson had 21.

The Nuggets took a 91-82 lead into the fourth quarter but saw the advantage whittled to one in the first 2:48 of the period. Golden State reserve forward Draymond Green had a 3-pointer and a three-point play in the 11-3, period-opening flurry.

At that point, Robinson caught fire, first hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and teaming with fellow guard Foye for all nine points of a 9-2 run that reopened a 103-95 advantage. Robinson then contributed four hoops in a three-minute stretch after which the Nuggets led 113-105.

The Warriors countered with the rally that produced the nail-biting finish, a seven-point burst triggered by a Curry 3-pointer.

Down by as many as 10 in the first half and seven earlier in the third quarter, the Warriors rallied into an 82-81 lead on a Harrison Barnes jumper with 2:07 remaining in the period.

Denver closed the third on a 10-0 run, capped by backup forward Evan Fournier's steal and 42-foot, buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

NOTES: Guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks, acquired Wednesday from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade, are scheduled to join the Warriors in Oklahoma City on Thursday and suit up for Friday's game against the Thunder. ... Crawford and Brooks are expected to add firepower to an offensively challenged Warriors' second unit and cut down on the minutes of starting guards Klay Thompson (37.8) and Stephen Curry (37.7), who began the day ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the league in minutes played. ... Warriors coach Mark Jackson praised the professionalism of PG Toney Douglas, who was sent to Miami as part of the Crawford-Brooks deal. ... Despite taking on $3.5 million in salary and giving up just $1.6 million, the Warriors remain more than $2 million under the NBA's luxury-tax threshold. ... Nuggets SF Wilson Chandler, who missed consecutive games last week with a hip injury before returning as a backup Monday in Utah, was back in Denver's starting lineup, replacing SF Quincy Miller. ... The Nuggets took advantage of a day off in San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday to enjoy a family-style barbecue at the home of coach Brian Shaw's parents in Oakland.


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