Denver (5-4) at Golden State (7-4)

@tvbp1985 (999)
November 22, 2006 8:24pm CST
After suffering the first loss of their season-high seven-game homestand, the Golden State Warriors look to regroup and close out the stretch with a win when they open a home-and-home series with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The Warriors (7-4) opened the 2006-07 season with a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, but had won all six games at Oracle Arena since that defeat before losing to the Phoenix Suns 113-110 on Monday. The game featured 14 lead changes, capped when two-time league MVP Steve Nash hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer for the Suns with 4.1 seconds left. Golden State had an opportunity to tie, but Jason Richardson's open 3-pointer at the buzzer clanged off the front of the rim. "I have no problem losing like this as long as the guys played (hard) and listened to the game plan," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "They banged and hustled great tonight, and we had a shot to win it in the fourth. We couldn't ask for anything more at the end with Jason getting a clean look at the 3." Golden State played without leading scorer Baron Davis, who sat out to rest his sore ribcage muscles which he injured in Saturday's win over Seattle. Davis, who is averaging 20.7 points and 8.3 assists, is a game-time decision for Wednesday. In his absence, Monta Ellis scored 31 points to match the career high he established against the Sonics on Saturday. The 21-year-old Ellis played a season-high 44 minutes against Phoenix. He has started at point guard the last six games, and is averaging 21 points and 5.8 assists in that span. "He is a terrific young talent and is a pleasure to coach," Nelson said. "We are always working on him to start trying to make plays and he is coming along better than we thought." Despite Monday's loss, the Warriors are trying to complete their first 6-1 homestand since March 16-28, 1976. Golden State is the second-best scoring home team in the league -- averaging 111 points -- and is outscoring its opponents by 11.5 points per game during its homestand. The Warriors split their two home games with the Nuggets (6-4) last year, but have won 28 of the 34 home games against them since the start of the 1989-90 season. Denver has won five of its last six games, including is a 113-109 victory over Chicago on Tuesday. J.R. Smith scored a career-high 36 points on 13-of-24 shooting, including five 3-pointers. While Smith topped the 30-point mark, Carmelo Anthony finished with 29, ending his streak of 30-point games at six. He tied Alex English's franchise record for consecutive 30-point games. "It would be really special to break a record held by someone like Alex English," said Anthony, who missed two free throws in the closing seconds. "I might still get it this year." Anthony is averaging 30.5 points on 61.4 percent shooting in his last four games against the Warriors. After the Warriors conclude the home
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