Denver Nuggets 107, Golden State Warriors 116: Three takeaways
The Nuggets had no answers for a historic night by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a 116-107 loss in San Francisco.
Nikola Jokić led the Nuggets with almost another triple-double as he put up 27 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in the defeat. Curry needed 19 points to overtake Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors’ all-time scoring leader and he would accomplish the feat in the first quarter, dropping 21. He would finish the night with 53 points on 58.3 percent shooting.
Jamal Murray suffered a late injury in his return to action and the Nuggets are now awaiting news of the extent of the ailment. Prior to going down, Murray put up 17 points, four assists, and three steals in 34 minutes.
"Yes, we lost the game, but I think everybody's thoughts are with Jamal and hoping that he's going to be okay," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said after the game.
The Nuggets will now get a much-needed break Tuesday as they prepare to face the Heat Wednesday evening (8 p.m. MT, ALTITUDE 2).
Here are the takeaways:
No answers for Steph
As seen in countless games, including the NBA Finals, when Steph Curry is cooking, he’s a nightmare to defend. On Monday, he was motivated by history and pulled out an all-time performance against Denver.
Curry had 30 points on 9 of 13 shooting in just the opening 24 minutes, hitting 6 of 9 from three. Only an early hook in the fourth quarter could slow the Warriors’ veteran, who was scorching from downtown. Curry finished the night hitting 10 of 18 from downtown.
The Nuggets tried a variety of looks to contain Curry, but had little luck as they alternated between Murray, Monte Morris, Facundo Campazzo on him. They also employed double-teams but faced similar results.
Just a day after seeing a halftime lead dwindle due to poor execution, the Nuggets had a repeat performance and paid dearly once again.
Denver surrendered 19 turnovers, which Golden State converted into 23 points. The giveaways fueled the Warriors in transition as the home team had 19 fast break points. It also killed the Nuggets' momentum on offense in several possessions.
In the two games before Monday’s contest, Denver had been giving opponents 20.5 points per game off turnovers (23rd). This is an area it will need to focus on heading into Wednesday’s contest if it wants to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Three-point defense disappoints
Curry wasn’t the only player who was converting from downtown for the Warriors. The team overall shot 18 of 44 from downtown and saw four players with two or more threes (Curry, Kent Bazemore, Draymond Green, and Damion Lee).
Alternatively, the Nuggets had their share of struggles in converting from three for the second-straight outing. A night after shooting 8 of 34 against the Celtics, the Nuggets shot 8 of 26 against the Warriors.