The final road game of the season is set for Monday night when the Warriors visit the Denver Nuggets. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on CSN Plus and KNBR 1050.
Playing on the back end of a back-to-back is never easy, and playing in the high altitude of Denver adds another challenge. The Warriors, however, are determined to close out the season on a high note and their play as of late has backed it up. Prior to last nights loss to the Kings, the Warriors had won three-consecutive games, and each of those victories came against Western Conference opponents who will participate in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
Should the Warriors bounce back from Sundays defeat, they will do it without Monta Ellis. The Warriors guard suffered a Grade 2 concussion when he fell to the floor and hit his head late in Sunday's game. Ellis was released from a Bay Area hospital on Monday morning and he will not play in the team's final two games of the season.
Filling the void left by the absence of Ellis wont be easy and it most likely wont be done by just one person. The Warriors will need several players to rise the occasion, and Stephen Curry and David Lee are strong candidates to do so. Curry tallied 27 points and eight assists on Sunday and he likely would have had a bigger game if he didnt sit out most of the first half in foul trouble. Without Ellis on Monday, Curry staying out of foul trouble becomes that much more important for the Warriors. Likewise, the Warriors will need to another stellar performance from Lee. The first-year Warrior has picked up his play as of late with five double-doubles in his last seven games, including each of the last three.
Big games from Curry and Lee can give the Warriors a shot at a victory, and trying to keep that from happening will be a Nuggets team that has won eight of its last 10 games. The Nuggets are in fifth place in the Western Conference, and a win on Monday will clinch that seed in the playoffs. Although they lack a true superstar since the trade of Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets are perhaps the deepest team in the NBA with a number of players quite capable of putting up big numbers on any given night. The Warriors have split their season series with the Nuggets so far, and on Monday they have a chance to take down their fourth-straight playoff opponent.
Following Monday's road finale, the Warriors will return home for their final game of the season. Golden State will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in a contest that will also mark Fan Appreciation Night. In addtion to giveaways and other special events planned throughout the evening, the Warriors will honor the best fans in professional sports by giving them the chance to save up to 50 percent on tickets and merchandise.
Injuries:Warriors - Andris Biedrins (sprained left ankle) and Acie Law (right wrist) are out. Nuggets -Wilson Chandler (soreness in left ankle), Timofey Mozgov (sprained ankle) are out. Arron Afflalo (left hamstring strain) and Chris Andersen (right ankle sprain) are probable.
At Home: 25-15 On Road: 10-30
VS. West: 20-30 VS. East: 15-15
Lost 1 At Home: Lost 1 On Road: Won 1
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