DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It looked as if Harrison Barnes’s return to Iowa was going to be remembered as a dud.
Then the Warriors rallied late - and Barnes finished Denver off by hitting the biggest shot of the game.
James Michael McAdoo scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Warriors rallied to beat the Nuggets 104-101 on Thursday night for their fourth straight win.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson added 18 points in the first NBA exhibition game in Des Moines since 1997.
The Nuggets led by 13 heading into the fourth quarter. But the Warriors (4-0) retook the lead, 100-99, on Jason Kapono’s 3 with 1:47 left.
Barnes, who grew up in nearby Ames sealed it with a long jumper with 6.8 seconds left that put Golden State up by five.
Barnes was 2 of 8 in 35 minutes.
“(I was glad) I was finally able to hit another one,” Barnes said. “But the most important thing was that we won the game.”
Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov each scored 18 points for Denver (1-4), which dropped its third straight game.
The fact that Barnes has yet to flourish in the NBA has made it easy to forget just how big of a prep star he was in Iowa.
Barnes was perhaps the most heralded recruit the state has ever produced.
Barnes, along with teammate and current Chicago Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, helped guide Ames High to 53 straight wins and consecutive unbeaten seasons.
Iowa State was among Barnes’s final five college picks, but he ultimately chose North Carolina.
Barnes was cheered after he addressed the crowd just before tip-off. He then drilled a 3 early in the first quarter, drawing a loud cheer.
“This was kind of a special deal for him, being able to go back to his home state,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said.
It was hard to tell that for much of the night, though. Thompson and Curry, who had 13 points, led Golden State’s offense for much of the game.
But Barnes came back in once the Warriors rallied, and his step-back jumper proved to be the difference.
“I was just thinking before the game of all the memories we had here,” Barnes said. “Just seeing a lot of familiar faces. It was a lot of fun.”
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