The Denver Nuggets got off to a strong 31-16 start in the first quarter in their game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. By halftime, their lead had ballooned to 60-36. However, the Warriors made a furious rally in the second half, but were unable to complete a comeback. The Nuggets led from wire-to-wire.
The win was huge for Denver, who were shorthanded and huge underdogs heading into the game. Their barebones roster was missing the likes of Aaron Gordon, Vlatko Cancar, Monte Morris, Bol Bol, Markus Howard, Michael Porter Jr, PJ Dozier, and Jamal Murray.
That’s not to say that the Warriors didn’t have their own problems, with key players like Draymond Green, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee in health and safety protocols, but it’s safe to say that the Dubs certainly had enough to field a decent squad, especially at home.
Golden State started to find their stride in the second half, cutting what was once a 24-point deficit in half down to 13 points after Steph Curry made his first three of the game, his 3000th of his career, at the end of the third quarter. Curry had gone 0 of 7 from three up to that point in the game.
You got the feeling that the Warriors needed Steph to have a big fourth quarter to win the game, as he only had a total of 8 points heading into the final stanza. While Curry did come alive and scored 15 points in the last 12 minutes, it was a case of too little, too late. The Dubs never did manage to complete the comeback before falling 89-86.
Nikola Jokic did Joker things, finishing with 22 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. He got a boost from Will Barton, who chipped in 21 points of 7 of 15 shooting. Jokic is currently playing at a historically-great efficiency.
The win kept the Nuggets safe in the guaranteed playoff spots for now, while the Warriors still have the lone hold on the league’s best record at 27-7. The Phoenix Suns (26-7) have a shot at tying that record in their next game.