About Last Night

About Last Night: Warriors send message in Denver

Golden State goes wild, Klay throws down, and the Sixers get Jimmy Butler a win vs. former team

If the Warriors wanted to send a message Tuesday night in Denver, they didn’t wait long to do it.

Facing the West-leading Nuggets, Golden State set an NBA record for points in a first quarter, erupting for 51 while setting a franchise record for 3s in a first quarter with 10.

And they hardly slow down from there.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson scored 31 points apiece, and Kevin Durant added 27 as the Warriors cruised to a 142-111 win to climb past the Nuggets for the top spot in the Western Conference. It was the Warriors’ fifth straight win and snapped Denver’s 12-game home winning streak.

Some more superlatives from the Warriors’ beatdown:

  • Golden state shot a season-high 60.0 percent (57-for-95) overall, and 53.8 on 3s (21-for-39)
  • Curry, Thompson and Durant all had at least 25 points in 30 minutes or less. They’re the only trio to do so in the last 25 seasons, and they’ve done it twice following their previous outburst against the Lakers in 2016
  • This was the Warriors’ fourth game topping 140 points this season, and 10th win of 20 or more points
  • Draymond Green was a plus-41, finishing with four points and 13 assists. It was the fourth plus-40 game of his career. (His career-best is plus-43, which he’s done twice).

While the Warriors played one of their best games of the season – “beautiful, beautiful basketball,” coach Steve Kerr said afterward – Durant was quick to downplay talk that this was a statement win for the Warriors.

“I think they know who we are,” he said.

Just A Dunk Machine

After the game, all anyone could talk about in the Warriors’ locker room was Thompson’s career-high four dunks and especially his celebration that had his teammates dying on the bench.

Thompson, who has a running friendly wager with former teammate Zaza Pachulia on who finishes the season with more slams, said it “felt better than hitting 10 3s” and stopped mid-interview to text Pachulia when told by reporters that he now holds an 11-1 lead.

Durant, in typical KD fashion, wasn’t impressed. “His dunks don’t look that good,” he joked. “Probably his last four of the year. He’s 6-7, he should be jumping higher than that.”

Durant can be a little salty, so you be the judge:

Stat of the Night

21 – Number of 3-s made by the 76ers, a franchise record. It was part of a 149-point night, the most scored by the Sixers since March 30, 1990.

Rookie connection

The Hawks have won eight of their last 15 and picked up one of their best wins of the season, surprising the Thunder 142-126 as Trae Young outdueled former Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder.

Young had 24 points (13 in the fourth quarter) and 11 assists, including this fine dime to fellow rookie Kevin Huerter, who finished with 17 points and five 3s.

The Hawks are still languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but Young and Huerter have formed a connection that should continue to blossom.

Tweet of the Night

Leave it to Joel Embiid to deliver the best tweet of the night.

This, of course, is in reference to the infamous Timberwolves practice in which a disgruntled Jimmy Butler challenged his teammates, reportedly winning a scrimmage with a group of third-stringers. Butler, as we know, was later traded to Philly, where Embiid enters the picture. Embiid put up 31 points and 13 rebounds while holding Karl-Anthony Towns to 14 points as Philly rolled to a 149-107 rout of the Wolves.

Butler scored 19 in his first meeting with Minnesota since the trade, and helped Philly score 83 in an impressive first half.

”It was everything that I thought it would be,” Butler said. ”Seeing some old faces. Not too much trash talking, though, I don’t think anybody’s talking like that. I like the fact that we beat them.”

Quote of the Night

“That wasn’t no normal game. Them dudes was at our heads. Jimmy [Butler] wanted to beat us. We all know that. Joel Embiid wanted to beat KAT. That ain’t a normal game.”

— Wolves point guard Jeff Teague, after the Wolves’ 149-107 loss to the Sixers

Welcome back, Dario

Former Sixers Dario Saric and Robert Covington returned to Philly and received a warm ovation from the fans, while T.J. McConnell welcomed Saric back with a friendly little tap on the butt after knocking down a third quarter jumper.

Stat of the Night II

Three teams scored 140-plus points Tuesday:

76ers, 149

Hawks, 142

Warriors, 142

According to NBA.com/Stats, the last time three teams topped 140 points in the same night was Jan. 7, 1984 (Warriors – 154, Nuggets – 141, Knicks – 140).

A night for blowouts

On a six-game night, the closest game ended up being the Lakers’ 107-100 win over the Bulls. The other five games ended as laughers.

Pacers 131, Suns 97

Sixers 149, Wolves 107

Hawks 142, Thunder 126

Bucks 124, Heat 86

Warriors 142, Nuggets 111

The average margin of victory in the six NBA games was 28 points, which is the largest average margin of victory ever in a single night in NBA history (minimum of five games).

Rose climbs ranks

Congratulations are in order for Derrick Rose, who scored his 10,000th point.