OAKLAND, California (Ticker) --
scored 26 of his career-high 38 points in the first quarter to lead the
to their fifth straight victory, a 117-109 triumph over the
Golden State Warriors
Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Lenard also scored 38 points with Miami against Milwaukee on February 6, 1997. He got off to a good start in this one, making 9-of-11 shots in the opening period as Denver grabbed a 39-27 advantage.
Lenard's first-quarter total was seven shy of the all-time record of 33 set by George Gervin on April 9, 1978.
"I just wanted to win," Lenard said. "It is about getting wins on back-to-backs. We were shooting well so we got it done tonight for all our critics."
Held scoreless in the second quarter, Lenard continued his scoring in the second half. His 3-pointer with 42 seconds left helped Denver extend to a 116-106 lead.
added 26 points and Nene had 18 for Denver, which has won five straight games for the first since December 30, 2000-January 9, 2001.
"I think when you bring in new guys (it helps)," said former Warrior
, who scored 12 points off the bench. "We weren't here when they were that bad, and we came here to win. And guys believe that whenever we step on the court we can win the basketball game, and that's what we're doing."
scored 21 points for Golden State, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
notched his 14th double-double of the season with 16 points and 18 rebounds.
"They have some very good players," Warriors coach Eric Musselman said. "They are a very good basketball team. They are one of the most improved teams in the league, if not the most improved."
Cellar dwellers in the Midwest Division for most of the past few seasons, Denver (12-6) is currently tied for first place in the Midwest Division. It won just 17 games last season.
"Our goal is to take it one game at a time," Boykins said. "We have 60-plus games left this year so it's going to be up to us to just stay focused for every game and look forward to Friday's game."
The two teams will square off again Friday in Denver. Golden State is already looking forward to the rematch.
"They came in here and beat us on our home court," Claxton said. "But fortunately for us, we get to play them Friday on their home court, so we need to pay them back."
The Nuggets led 57-52 with 2:44 left in the first half but Golden State closed the quarter with a 10-0 run to build a 62-57 cushion. Claxton and
each had four points during the spurt.
"After they had the first quarter they had, I was looking to score a little more than I normally do," Claxton said. "I was just trying to make some plays for us."
Both teams shot extremely well. Denver shot 60 percent (40-of-67) and made 7-of-11 3-pointers. Golden State kept the game close by shooting 50 percent (44-of-88).