Crawford's 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 17, 2014 at 1:16 am •  Published: April 17, 2014
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DENVER (AP) — Fresh legs beat fatigue.

Jordan Crawford scored a career-high 41 points and Harrison Barnes added 30 as a squad of Golden State backups beat the short-handed Denver Nuggets 116-112 Wednesday night.

"The guys did what they had to do to get the win, which is not easy on a night where some people say it's not worth it, you really don't have to play hard," Steve Blake said. "Guys played a lot of minutes that they usually don't get, so they got a little bit winded.

"It was nice for us to get the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and have fun. Even though it's the last game of the year, it's a good win for us."

Crawford beat his previous career high of 39 points set against Miami on March, 30, 2011, when he was with Washington. He surpassed it with a runner that put the Warriors ahead for good at 110-108.

The Nuggets thought they tied it up at 115 with seven seconds left when Draymond Green was whistled for goaltending on Randy Foye's 3-pointer, but the call was overturned upon review.

Foye finished with 32 points to lead Denver. Anthony Randolph added 19 points for the Nuggets, who are missing the playoff party for the first time since 2002-03, the year before Carmelo Anthony's arrival.

The Warriors are headed to their second straight Western Conference playoffs, again as the No. 6 seed and this time, they'll face the third-seeded Clippers starting Saturday in Los Angeles.

With Andrew Bogut out indefinitely and nothing to play for as far as seeding, the Warriors rested their regulars for the playoffs. Guard Klay Thompson was the only starter coach Mark Jackson put in his starting lineup 48 hours after Golden State secured its first 50-win season since 1993-94.

Thompson played just eight minutes but his was an efficient cameo with eight points. Green was pressed into duty in the fourth quarter when Hilton Armstrong fouled out.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw had no problem with his counterpart going with a short bench by design, something Denver has had to do out of necessity for much of the season because of a rash of injuries to the likes of Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson and Nate Robinson.