Warriors beat Nuggets, reach 30 wins first
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[January 03, 2017]
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden
State Warriors got a first-hand look at a potential first-round
playoff opponent Monday night.
All of a sudden, the future doesn't look so bright.
Despite playing without key big man Kenneth Faried, the Denver
Nuggets gave the Warriors all they wanted on their home floor before
coming up just short of the two-time defending Western Conference
champs, 127-119, in an entertaining duel.
Reserves Andre Iguodala, David West and Shaun Livingston hit
consecutive hoops during a key stretch of the fourth quarter,
allowing the Warriors (30-5) to become the NBA's first 30-game
"I thought the bench was the key to the game," Warriors coach Steve
Kerr said. "Shaun Livingston and David West were fantastic. Shaun in
particular was very aggressive on offense, which was good to see."
Livingston, who had totaled only 10 points and four assists in his
previous three games, contributed six points and four assists in
just 18 minutes.
Draymond Green posted his second triple-double of the season -- with
15 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds -- and Klay Thompson
(game-high 25 points), Stephen Curry (22) and Kevin Durant (21) all
topped 20 points as the Warriors won for the 10th time in their last
But it wasn't easy.
"We gave ourselves a chance against a great team on the road in a
hostile environment. I love the fight," Nuggets coach Michael Malone
said. "We had a no-quit mentality, and we gave them a great
challenge. I'm very proud of our team tonight."
After using 54.2 percent shooting to hang within 68-64 at halftime,
the Nuggets (14-20) dropped back by as many as 14 points late in the
third quarter before mounting one last charge.
Wilson Chandler had a 3-pointer and Jusuf Nurkic an interior hoop as
Denver scored the final five points of the third quarter to get
within 94-85. And when Chandler drilled another 3-pointer with 8:12
left, the Nuggets were very much in the game at 104-98.
But Iguodala slammed through a dunk, West flipped in a layup and
Livingston hit a jumper. And when Green connected from 3-point range
with 6:07 to go, Golden State had used a 9-2 flurry to re-establish
a 113-100 advantage.
"They put a lot of pressure on us," Durant said. "They made us shoot
tough shots. I think we did a good job adjusting."
The Nuggets even made the finish interesting, scratching back within
121-115 with 1:37 to go. But, on a night when Denver missed 26 of
its 35 3-point attempts, Gary Harris misfired from beyond the arc
with 1:06 to go and a chance to get within three, and the Warriors
held on for their eighth straight home win.
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Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates during the fourth
quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena. The Warriors
defeated the Nuggets 127-119. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA
shared the ball like a really good team," Nurkic said. "When we're
out there and having fun the right way and sharing the ball, we're
Green's 13 assists were a game high as Golden State compiled 33, the
league-leading 24th time this season the Warriors have topped 30.
Thompson made 4 of 7 3-pointers as the Warriors shot 44 percent (11
of 25) from beyond the arc. Golden State shot 52.6 percent overall.
Chandler and Nikola Jokic scored 21 points apiece to pace the
Nuggets, who return home to take on Sacramento on Tuesday night.
Jokic also snatched a game-high 13 rebounds.
"We are still young," Nurkic said of the back-to-back. "I'm
Six Nuggets scored in double figures, including Danilo Gallinari
with 19 points and Nurkic with 15.
In losing for the fifth time in its last seven road games, Denver
shot 47.5 percent.
NOTES: The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to win at
least 30 of their first 35 games three seasons in a row. ... The
Warriors are 12-0 this season when SG Klay Thompson, PG Stephen
Curry and SF Kevin Durant all score 20. ... With another game
scheduled Tuesday at home against Sacramento, Nuggets coach Michael
Malone opted to give PF Kenneth Faried (sore lower back) the night
off. ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry made three 3-pointers in the
game, the first of which allowed him to break a tie with former
Nuggets SF Dale Ellis (1,719) for 15th place on the NBA's career
list for 3-pointers made.
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