Warriors Fall Short in Denver
Golden State Drops to 41-12
Playing their second road game in less than 24 hours, the Warriors ran out of gas at the end and fell 115-108 to the Nuggets on Saturday night. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 31 points, in addition to six rebounds and seven assists. Stephen Curry added 24 points and five three-pointers, while Zaza Pachulia just missed a double-double with 10 points and eight boards. With the loss, Golden State falls to 41-12 on the season.
Saturday’s game represented the fourth and final matchup between the Warriors and Nuggets in the regular season, but it may not be the last time they see each other. If the season ended today, Golden State and Denver would face off the first round of the playoffs. That might not be the Warriors’ ideal opposition, given the Nuggets not only split the regular season series with the Dubs, but are the only team in the NBA to earn at least one victory over Golden State in each of the last four seasons.
SLOW START, STRONG FINISH
Kevin Durant ended the game with the most points of any player, but he certainly didn’t start that way. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry got off to a fast start to the game, as the Splash Brothers and Zaza Pachulia combined to score Golden State’s first 26 points of the night. Durant, in fact, didn’t attempt a single field goal attempt in the entire first quarter, and would total just two points off free throws in the opening frame. Once the second quarter started, however, Durant got back to his traditional scoring ways and would account for at least nine points in every quarter thereafter.
Thompson and Curry combined to open the game 4-of-4 from three-point range, but unfortunately for the Warriors, their luck from long distance didn’t last much longer than that. Golden State would go on to finish the game 8-of-31 from beyond the arc, with Curry providing more than half (five) of their makes. It’s the second-straight time the Dubs have struggled from long distance in Denver, as the Warriors will finish the season having made only 11 of their 58 (.190) three-point attempts in the Nuggets’ home arena.
The Warriors didn’t get the result they wanted, but one of their brighter spots was the play of JaVale McGee, particularly on the defensive end. McGee was a consistent rim-protecting presence, and stuffed the Nuggets on multiple occasions. He finished the night with four blocks, and now has notched a total of eight blocks over the last three games.
After a 1-2 road trip, Golden State will now return to the Bay Area for a four-game homestand, beginning on Tuesday against the Thunder.