The Warriors have dropped three consecutive games and five of six overall since a solid 6-2 start thanks in large part to the absence of All-Star forward David Lee, who underwent surgery back on Nov. 12 to stave off an infection in a cut in his elbow suffered after colliding with New York's Wilson Chandler in a Golden State win at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 10.
The Warriors latest setback came at the hands of Denver on Monday when Carmelo Anthony rose to the occasion with 39 points, nine rebounds and five assists, as Denver downed Golden State, 106-89, at ORACLE Arena.
Monta Ellis paced Golden State with 20 points, but he needed 22 shots to reach that total. Stephen Curry contributed 17 points, but needed 21 shots, while Reggie Williams and Rodney Carney donated 16 points apiece for the Warriors.
"We just have to keep at it. The last two games have been rough for us," Ellis said. "It's the NBA. We have to move past that and stay together as a team. We have to move on. We were missing layups. The ball was going in and out. I didn't have a great game. It will be like that some days. The only thing we can do now is stay focused and stay together."
Houston, meanwhile, dropped its fourth straight game against Phoenix on Monday as it continues to deal with the absences of center Yao Ming (bone bruise in left ankle) and guard Aaron Brooks (sprained left ankle).
Steve Nash scored 24 points and became the 16th active NBA player to reach 15,000 points in that one, as the Suns held off the Rockets, 123-116, at the Toyota Center.
Kevin Martin finished with 19 points for the Rockets, who have dropped four straight. Courtney Lee and Luis Scola each chipped in 16 points. Scola also grabbed nine rebounds for Houston, which is off to its worst start since opening 3-11 in 2005-06
"We can never get enough stops to sustain anything," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "Offensively we did a lot of nice things and parts of the game defensively. They (Suns) are a hard team to cover. We try to take away their three-point shooting because they're so deadly. (Steve) Nash is tough. He kind of carves you up but our guys played hard. We just have to stay with it."
The Warriors have lost four straight Houston but did top the Rockets, 132-128, last month in Oakland.
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