Nuggets return to Oakland for first time since 2013 playoffs

Denver faces Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena
by Aaron Lopez

Once more into the din of the den.

For the first time since an emotional and entertaining playoff series against the Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets return to Oracle Arena on Wednesday night looking to exorcise some demons from the postseason past.

The Warriors eliminated the Nuggets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last spring, holding off Denver’s furious fourth-quarter rally in Game 6 on May 2. The sting of defeat still resonates inside the visiting locker room.

“It’s a big game for us,” Nuggets guard Evan Fournier said. “I really want to beat them as they beat us last year in the playoffs.”

Fournier is in the midst of his best stretch of the season. He has made 10 of 17 shots from 3-point range over the past three games and is averaging 17.3 points during that span.

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson also remains hot as he makes a push for an NBA All-Star selection. He has recorded six double-doubles in six of the past seven games and is one of only four NBA players averaging at least 17 points and eight assists for the season.

Denver will be facing a confident and rested Warriors team. Golden State, which hasn’t played since last Friday, has won 11 of its past 12 games.

Golden State beat the Nuggets at Pepsi Center on Dec. 23. David Lee led the way for the Warriors with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while former Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala finished with 12 points in his return to Denver.


WHEN: 8:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
TV; RADIO: Altitude, ESPN; 104.3 FM, AM-950

DENVER (19-18)

F Quincy Miller
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

F Andre Iguodala
F David Lee
C Andrew Bogut
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Wilson Chandler (left hip strain) is probable; Anthony Randolph (sprained left ankle) is a game-time decision; Darrell Arthur (groin strain), Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (fractured left tibia) are out.
GOLDEN STATE: Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery), Nemanja Nedovic (strained left hamstring) and Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist surgery) are out.

The Nuggets 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 . . . Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw played 31 games for the Warriors during the 1997-98 season, averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per game . . . Nuggets guard Nate Robinson played one season for the Warriors in 2011-12, holding averages of 11.2 points and 4.4 assists in 51 games . . . Nuggets assistant coach Lester Conner was a first-round pick of Golden State 1982 (14th overall). He averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 assists in 272 games for the Warriors . . . Warriors guard/forward Andre Iguodala spent the 2012-13 season with the Nuggets. In 80 games, he averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists . . . Warriors head coach Mark Jackson played for the Nuggets for the first 52 games of the 1996-97 season.