Anthony's 27 lead way as balanced Nuggets upend Warriors

DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets didn't need another 33-point third quarter from Carmelo Anthony. Fourteen was enough to put away Golden State.

Anthony had 27 points and nine rebounds, Chauncey Billups added 16 points and 11 assists, and the Nuggets beat the Warriors 123-105 on Saturday night.

"I'm falling off," Anthony said with a laugh. "It's all good. We won. That's all that matters right now."

Kenyon Martin, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained left wrist, had 15 points for the Nuggets, who had six players score in double figures.

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and Rob Kurz had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, who have lost 11 of their last 13.

Anthony, who tied an NBA record with 33 points in the third quarter and finished with 45 against Minnesota on Wednesday night, had 14 points in the last 5 1/2 minutes of Saturday's third quarter. He hit two 3-pointers, had a blocked shot and a steal to stretch Denver's lead from 13 points to 99-74.

"I thought he did a great job of being patient, letting other guys open the floor up for him, and he struck again," Billups said. "He's capable of having big nights, and it doesn't take 48 minutes. His patience was great."

Denver enjoyed its biggest lead when Linas Kleiza's follow layup made it 98-70. The Nuggets led by 25 after the third quarter and sat their starters for most of the fourth against a Warriors team that played Friday night.

"We knew it would be tough, going back-to-back and coming up here, and it was," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "We survived. We're here. The game is over and we lost."

The Warriors played without forwards Ronny Turiaf and Brandan Wright, who were out with the flu.

"We've been missing people all year, so that's no excuse," Crawford said.

Denver led by 14 after the first quarter and extended it to 18 on an alley-oop dunk from Anthony Carter to Anthony.

The Warriors cut it to 58-49 on Marco Belinelli's 3-pointer with 2:10 left in the second quarter, but Martin's 5-foot hook shot with 5 seconds left gave Denver a 65-51 halftime lead. The Warriors never got the lead under double digits in the second half.

"I just enjoyed the game because we learned from Minnesota," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We got into the game a lot earlier than we did Minnesota."

The Nuggets, who have won six of seven and are 15-4 since trading for Billups, are in second place in the Western Conference. Their next six games are against teams with winning records, including a game against Cleveland on Friday.

"We've put ourselves in a position to be tested and evaluate what we're going to do against some of the big boys of the league," Karl said. "It's going to be fun. We're confident but we're aware and respectful of how good the Western Conference is."

Martin gave the Nuggets a scare when he fell hard to the floor after he was fouled by C.J. Watson on a layup attempt with 3:39 left in the first half. Martin landed on his right side but stayed in the game.

"I felt excellent until I fell," he said. "I'll deal with it Monday. I finished the game today."

The Nuggets scored the first 13 points of the game before Kurz hit a 3-pointer with 8:35 left to get Golden State on the board. The Warriors went on a 13-3 run to get within 18-16, but the Nuggets got the lead back to double digits. Billups and J.R. Smith hit 3-pointers and Chris Andersen's follow dunk made it 36-20 late in the first quarter.

Game notes
The Nuggets are 16-7 for the first time since 1976-77, their first year in the NBA. ... The Warriors are 1-3 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. ... The Nuggets' 123 points were their second most this season. They scored 132 against Toronto on Dec. 2.