NBA Playoff Race: Nuggets Capture Eighth Seed from Warriors

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMarch 29, 2008

On a night in which Allen Iverson went 4-20 FG from the field and the Nuggets only shot 1-14 from downtown in the first half and 5-24 for the game, Denver took the eighth spot 119-112.

Kenyon Martin dropped a season high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on the Warriors—who came into tonight's game clinging to that last available spot.

Carmelo Anthony added 25 points on 11-16 shooting to go with seven rebounds and six assists while Allen Iverson managed to chip in 14 points, eight assists, and seven boards.

Baron Davis was the high man for Golden State finishing with 28 points and was one of three Warriors' to have 20+ on the night; Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson were the others.

Three-point shooting proved to be they key stat of the night, with the hometown team shooting a frigid 20.8 percent and the losing team 33.3 percent. 

Don Nelson's team could not connect from beyond the arc with The Baron only making 4-10 three point attempts, Stephen Jackson shot 4-7, Al Harrington went 0-3, and reserve Kelenna Azubuike missed all five of his three point shots.

The game started off with Denver jumping off to a 13-5 run and Don Nelson picking up a technical foul shouting like a madman from the sidelines.

Nelson was angry over the lack of a call by referee Leon Wood after watching Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Jackson get tangled up at the elbow.

Tempers continued to flare as Eduardo Najera and Matt Barnes earned themselves double technicals as a result of a shoving match early in the second quarter. Denver increased their lead by as much as 12 in the first half, but Golden State widdled it down to a four-point lead after two Monta Ellis free throws.

The score was Denver 65-61 at intermission.

The game continued its usual high tempo pace, with the Warriors' going on a 17-2 run in the third to take the lead away from the Nuggets after Azubuike's tip in with 5:05 remaining.

The Nuggets roared back by going on a 22-7 spree that ran into the fourth quarter.

However Baron and his team were persistent, cutting the lead down to three after a pair of Stephen Jack free throws 113-110 Denver leading.

With 1:10 left, Allen Iverson found Kenyon Martin on the baseline for a 18-footer that sealed the victory for the Mile High City. 

The final score was DEN 119-GSW 112. 

The Denver Nuggets are now in what seems like a win-win situation. After the W against the Warriors, they are only a half game behind Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks who have hit a slump since trading for Kidd.

The win-win situation for Denver? Golden State flies back home to face those Mavericks at the Oracle Arena tomorrow night.

If Dallas is able to win, Golden State will have to crawl out of a even deeper hole to catch up with Denver.

If the W's win, the Mavs become tied with the Nuggets for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. 

The Warriors' next five games are all on the road no picnic either as they play Dallas twice, San Antonio, Memphis, and the New Orleans. 

With the victory, Denver improves to 31-7 at home, takes a half game lead over GSW as the eighth seed, and the season series 2-1. 

The Nuggets play Golden State one more time April 10, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.