DENVER -- After the Warriors' 116-105 loss Sunday night, backup guard Jarrett Jack sat at his locker with his head buried in his hands. Even when answering questions, he refused to look up.
"I feel more personally responsible than anybody," Jack said. "I know everybody is going to say it's a team situation or you can't point to one or two plays. But I do."
Jack had a starring role in a noteworthy collapse Sunday. The Warriors entered the fourth quarter leading by eight points after a surge to close the third quarter. Fast forward to the 1:59 mark of the fourth quarter, and Warriors coach Mark Jackson was waving the white flag.
In between was a snowball of ugliness. By the time Jackson emptied his bench -- a 10-minute span -- the Warriors had turned the ball over six times, leading to 12 points for Denver. They had missed 9 of 15 shots, 11 of those attempts being jump shots, and were outscored 37-16.
The Nuggets turned up the defensive pressure, and the Warriors folded. It was quick and ugly.
"It's just a tough way to lose," Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said after posting a game-high 29 points to go with seven assists. "First five minutes, we gave up 18 points. You're not going to win many games doing that."
Golden State (23-13), which has two days off before playing host to Miami, has lost three of its last four games.
The Warriors are now 10-11 against Western Conference teams and sit just 11/2 games ahead of Denver for the No. 5 spot in the West. Golden State finished the season 1-3 against Denver (23-16), which means the Nuggets own the tiebreaker if the teams finish tied.
"This is a game we should have won," said forward David Lee, who finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. "Turnovers killed us."
The Warriors have had a problem maintaining leads this season, but usually they pull it out. That pattern didn't continue at Denver.
Golden State took control of the game with a surge to end the third quarter. The game was tied at 75 with 3:34 left in the quarter. Curry got it started with a pull-up jumper and, after a defensive stop, rookie Harrison Barnes converted a fast-break dunk to put the Warriors ahead by four.
Three more stops led to six more points, all produced by Jack. He hit a pull-up jumper and two free throws and set up a Carl Landry jumper. Just like that, the Warriors were up 85-75. They led by eight entering the fourth quarter.
"We were feeling good," Jackson said. "We were taking care of the basketball, getting quality looks on the offensive end. We knew what we had to do going into the fourth. We gave them life, and they capitalized on it."
Golden State began turning the ball over, settling for jumpers on offense, losing focus on defense and getting lazy on the boards. The result was a sudden and convincing shift from a possible good road win to a loss.
Guard Klay Thompson started the fourth quarter with a bad pass, leading to an Andre Miller layup. Moments later, Jack turned it over on back-to-back possessions, the latter leading to a Miller layup that cut the Warriors' lead to one with 9:28 left.
Before you knew it, Denver's run was up to 19-2 with more than seven minutes to play.
Curry found Lee for a jumper to stop the run. Then Curry hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut Golden State's deficit to 100-97 with 6:10 left. It looked as if the Warriors had gotten their bearings.
But the Nuggets responded with another run to finish the knockout.
Corey Brewer, who with Miller and Andre Iguodala, spearheaded the Nuggets' pressure defense, answered Curry's 3-pointer with one of his own. After Curry's driving layup didn't fall, Denver's Danilo Gallinari dunked home a putback.
The Warriors turned it over again with an offensive foul, and Gallinari put the Nuggets up 108-97 after nailing a wide-open 3-pointer. Denver's Kenneth Faried finished the Warriors off by turning a turnover into an emphatic dunk.
"We had our opportunities," Jack said. "We felt we had this game in hand. We should've been able to walk out of here with a victory."
He got up and limped to the other end. Golden State called a timeout, and Curry was looked at by the trainer. He returned to the game without issue. After the game, his right knee was covered in ice.
"I just had to keep moving to keep it from getting stiff," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem."
Miami (24-11) at Warriors (23-13), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA