Game Preview: Nuggets-Warriors

Denver completes back-to-back set with Bay Area showdown
by Aaron Lopez

As teammate Kenneth Faried continues to dazzle, Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov is quietly producing in the paint.

Running the floor and finishing strong at the rim, Mozgov scored 22 points on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets. He is averaging 17.6 points on .569 shooting over the past five games.

The 7-foot-1 Mozgov will try to keep the momentum going when Denver completes a back-to-back set Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors counter with big man Andrew Bogut, who caused problems for the Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 Western Conference playoffs.

Mozgov is much more mobile than Bogut, so the Nuggets will look to get out run in transition. It was an effective strategy against the Rockets as Faried and Mozgov consistently beat Houston’s big men down the floor.

By halftime, Faried and Mozgov had combined for 37 points on 16-of-20 shooting.

“They were just running down the floor, posting us up and throwing us out of the way,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “We had no answers for them.”

Golden State is among the teams chasing Houston in the West standings. The Warriors are currently sixth and can clinch a playoff spot with a victory at Oracle Arena.

The Nuggets and Warriors have split the season series, with the road team winning each time.

Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye, Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson each scored 20-plus points for Denver in its victory at Golden State on Jan. 15. Chandler, Lawson and Robinson are all out with injuries.


WHEN: 8:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
TV; RADIO: TNT; 104.3 FM

DENVER (34-44)

F Quincy Miller
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Aaron Brooks

F Andre Iguodala
F Draymond Green
C Andrew Bogut
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Wilson Chandler (groin), Danilo Gallinari (knee), J.J. Hickson (knee), Ty Lawson (ankle), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (knee) are out.
GOLDEN STATE: David Lee (leg) and Festus Ezeli (knee) are out.

The Nuggets have won 13 of the last 18 regular-season games against Golden State . . . Denver had not lost a season series against Golden State since the 2002-03 season (0-4) before going 1-2 in 2011-12 . . . Denver has won at least two games against Golden State in eight of the past nine seasons . . . The Warriors hold the Pepsi Center record for most points scored by an opponent with 129 in a losing effort against the Nuggets on 11/24/06 (Denver won 140-129) …. . . The Nuggets set a team record with 52 assists at Golden State on 4/21/89.