The Denver Nuggets road trip came to a sour end. After getting a win on Wednesday in Los Angeles, the Nuggets were unable to build on that success tonight in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. Denver fell behind early, then climbed all the way back and then fell all the way behind again all before the first half. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant led the way for the defending champs who wound up coasting to a victory.
Denver opened the game ice cold from the floor, struggling to even get a shot up at times. The Warriors weren’t lighting the scoreboard up themselves but the Nuggets scored just three points in the first three minutes. Klay Thompson was red hot from the field and also causing trouble on defense, he had eight points and two steals early. The Nuggets couldn’t hold on to the basketball and the Warriors star power was at its best. The lead was quickly more than a dozen. When the benches started checking in there was little improvement. Malik Beasley hit a three to finally stop a big Golden State Run but the Nuggets were down by sixteen. The bench unit finally started to find some rhythm as the quarter was drawing to a close, Monte Morris in particular. They were able to get the Warriors lead down to ten at the end of one.
The bench continued their good play to open the second and rode a 7-0 run to pull within three points. Morris was playing outstanding. He made a beautiful pocket pass to Mason Plumlee for an easy two, then drew an offensive foul and followed it up with a corner three to tie the game. Beasley joined the action and was the benefactor of some nice Morris passes to briefly get the lead for Denver but Thompson was back on the floor and still red hot from three. The starters checked back in and maintained the pace, however the Warriors kept a slim lead with about five minutes in the half when things fell apart. Jokic finally started to get involved on the offense but Durant and Thompson were relentless. The Nuggets starters were no match for the Warriors starters and continued to turn the ball over at a ridiculous rate. By the time the buzzer sounded, Golden State had gone a 14-0 run and pushed the lead all the way back to seventeen.
The Nuggets starters outside of Jokic continued to struggle as the second half got underway. However, the Warriors had cooled off a bit so while the Nuggets weren’t gaining any ground, they weren’t losing any either. Golden State was struggling with turnovers as well and Denver chipped into their lead. Jamal Murray started to find his shot and also had a nice pass to Millsap for an easy basket to get the lead back under ten. When DeMarcus Cousins checked out the Nuggets were able to push the ball inside with their bigs. The Warriors stars weren’t going to let Denver come back that easy though, Durant and Stephen Curry both responded with big plays to push back. With the quarter almost over the Nuggets bench came in but they couldn’t get going right away. At the end of the quarter Millsap was able to get two last second free throws but the Warriors lead was still fifteen.
The bench, including IT, found their shot early in the fourth but Thompson continued his outstanding shooting. Denver’s bench, or perhaps the comfort of a large lead, cooled Golden State off a little but they weren’t able to take advantage. A Durant three at the seven minute mark put the lead at twenty-one and things started looking very grim.Halfway through the quarter things started to get a little chippy and it was becoming clear that the game was descending into garbage time. Just before the three minute mark Malone went to his reserves. Morris continued to play well despite the large deficit. About a minute later, and after another Thompson three, Kerr brought out his reserves as well and the game was essentially over. Nuggets wind up taking the loss 122-105.