The Warriors ran into a hot-shooting Nuggets team and fell 132-110 in Denver on Monday night. Kevin Durant led Golden State with 25 points, but they couldn’t hang with the Nuggets, who tied the NBA regular season record with 24 three-pointers in the contest. With the defeat, the Warriors drop to 46-9 on the season.
The Warriors had allowed one 40-point quarter in the entire season entering Monday’s game in Denver. The Nuggets nearly managed to accomplish the task twice in the first half.
The Warriors actually outshot the Nuggets in the first quarter, but it didn’t matter one bit due to Denver’s superiority from three-point range. The Nuggets shot 7-of-11 from beyond the arc in the opening quarter, while Golden State made just one of their seven attempts in the frame. The result was a 42-30 Denver advantage at the end of one, and it wasn’t just one Nuggets’ player doing the damage from long range. Six different Nuggets made a three-pointer in the opening quarter, and as it turned out they were just getting started.
Denver added another nine three-pointers (on 12 attempts) in the second frame, busting open a 79-54 lead going into halftime. The 16 Nuggets’ three-pointers in the first half tied an NBA record. Kevin Durant was the lone bright spot for Golden State, making seven of his 11 attempts from the field for 18 points through the first two quarters.
Golden State opened the second half on a 14-4 run to close within 84-68 on Patrick McCaw’s layup with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter, but that was as close as they’d get for the rest of the night. Two minutes later, Durant had a chance to cut the deficit to 15 with a three-pointer, but his shot missed and Denver ripped of the next 10 points to rebuild a massive advantage. Steve Kerr pulled the starters with 3:17 left in the third frame and the reserves played out the remainder of the eventual defeat, but not before adding a bit of intrigue to the night.
Trailing 107-85 entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors’ reserves trimmed the deficit in half in the opening four minutes of the final frame and cut it to single-digits on Damian Jones’ layup at the 7:28 mark. However, the Nuggets responded with an immediate 8-0 run, and that proved to be enough to put the game out of reach. Juancho Hernangomez converted his game-high sixth and final three-pointer with 2:10 remaining, giving Denver 24 treys in the game, which tied the NBA regular season record.
With the loss, Golden State drops to 46-9 on the season and now return home to play their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings.