The Denver Nuggets faced the Golden State Warriors in a rematch witnessing Denver lose the game and their star Jamal Murray. Friday night mirrored that matchup very well. Denver gets blown out and loses another key piece as Will Barton exited with a hamstring injury.
Golden State welcomed fans inside the arena for the first time this season facilitating a hot start as Mulder hit the first three of the game. Michael Porter Jr. answered with a three of his own to put the Nuggets on the board. Within one minute of the game, another terrifying sight for Nuggets fans occurred. Will Barton limped off the court with an apparent right hamstring injury. Following Will Barton’s absence, Golden State hit two straight shots responded by an Aaron Gordon three as the shot clock expired.
Nikola Jokic was quiet early only attempting one shot in five minutes, but his one-shot had an exclamation point to it. Spinning on his defender, he attempted a high arching Sombor shuffle and hit nothing but net. Denver seemed to withstand Barton’s absence early with great energy and getting to the basket. Both teams shot well from the field and the three-point line. Golden State started 7-12 from the field and 4-9 from three, while Denver went 7-13 and 3-6 from three.
Off a nice Shaq Harrison steal, Jokic threw it down court to PJ Dozier for the two-handed jam. Both defenses started to settle as the constant scoring diminished. Austin Rivers opened his night with an effective drive for a layup, but Golden State countered with two straight baskets including a Kelly Oubre Jr. three-pointer. As the first quarter closed, Golden State held a six-point advantage at 30-23. Jokic and Porter led the offensive charge with six points, while Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors with nine. The Nuggets kept Steph Curry scoreless in the first, but he seemed bothered with foot discomfort only attempting one shot.
How does he make this look so easy pic.twitter.com/Oj8CA91jBz— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 24, 2021
The second quarter opened with a Millsap spinning post layup. Kevon Looney followed with a dunk off a screen and roll. Curry scored his first points of the game driving on Paul Millsap for a layup. Jordan Pool extended the Warrior lead to eleven hitting a three and a transition dunk influencing a Denver timeout. Golden State remained true to their pace of play as they seemed to outrun Denver early scoring 18 fast breakpoints in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Curry expanded the Warrior 7-0 scoring run with a right-hand floater that nearly touched the ceiling. The Warrior lead was thirteen when Facu responded with a three, and an Austin Rivers transition layup cut the lead to eight. Out of the timeout, Golden State scored a mid-range jumper, but Aaron Gordon reciprocated with his second three of the game. Shaq Harrison displayed his defensive prowess getting another steal and layup at the other end reducing the Warrior advantage to just three.
The Denver offense sputtered for a couple of minutes, but Aaron Gordon regained some energy getting to the free-throw line for two points. Golden State was very active on the glass out-rebounding the Nuggets throughout the first half. Another Warrior offensive rebound gave Andrew Wiggins an open three-pointer. The next possession, Michael Porter Jr. came off a screen and raised up over Curry for a nice three.
The first half concluded with an open Dozier three-point jumper off a Jokic assist. Golden State conducted a 54-50 lead and out-rebounded Denver by 7 with a 26-19 advantage. Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 14 points while Poole and Oubre chipped in with 10 points each off the bench. Denver’s leading scorer was Gordon with 10 and not far behind MPJ with 9.
RT if you love watching Shaq play defense pic.twitter.com/ZupUWYDRZS— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 24, 2021
PJ Dozier introduced the second half with a mid-range jumper. Golden State committed their ninth turnover with their second possession of the game. Denver could not take advantage as Gordon missed a three, and Steph Curry answered with his first triple of the game. Jokic appeared aggressive early in the third returning to the post for layups and free throws. Michael Porter Jr. cut the lead to one with a swish from beyond the arc, but Wiggins retaliated with a driving layup.
Stephy Curry saw a wide-open lane close when Aaron Gordon rose for the emphatic block and also scoring a layup at the other end. It seemed every very time Denver closed the lead, Golden State responded with another bucket. Usually a perimeter offense, the Warriors outscored Denver in the paint by eight 28-20 mid-way through the third.
Kelly Oubre Jr. responded to the Denver timeout with two straight driving dunks parting the Nugget defense. The Nuggets scored a few baskets here and there but the momentum resided with Golden State as they maintained a seven-point lead with 3:18 left in the third. The Warriors were relentless getting to the rim seemingly scoring whenever they wanted to. They also capitalized on a couple of Denver turnovers with baskets from Curry and Oubre.
The Nuggets imploded late in the third quarter. Golden State closed the third with a wide-open three from Jordan Poole. Lack of energy and execution assisted an 86-74 Warrior lead. Held scoreless in the first, Curry erupted into the leading scorer with 19 points along with Oubre Jr. scoring 19 as well. Golden State shot 51% from the field in comparison to Denver’s 39%.
Layup permission: denied by AG ♂️ pic.twitter.com/e3lCDGzduH— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 24, 2021
Denver initiated the fourth with a sloppy possession resulting in a turnover for an easy layup. JaMychal Green hit his first shot of the game pulling up for a corner three, but the Warriors answered yet again with two baskets from Oubre Jr.
Austin Rivers responded to the Denver timeout with a floater cutting the lead to thirteen. Off a Warrior miss, Porter Jr. spotted up for his fifth three of the game. The fourth straight defensive stop for Denver gave MPJ another three diminishing the lead to seven. The 8-0 Nugget scoring run forced a Golden State timeout. Following the stoppage, the Nuggets got another stop but could not take capitalize. That led to two threes from Toscano-Anderson and Curry regaining a 15 point lead.
Michael Malone furiously called timeout which seemed to calm the Nuggets down a bit. Michael Porter Jr. knocked down his seventh three of the game and Jokic scored two from the free-throw line reducing the lead to ten. Although Denver gave decent effort off the timeout, Steph Curry hit another three followed by a near four-point play but his foot was on the line.
Curry scored 25 of his 32 points in the second half. Draymond Green played facilitator as he tallied his career-high 19 assists. Golden State also received great play from their bench as Oubre Jr. dropped 23 and Poole had 15. Another crushing loss to Golden State will yet again be overshadowed by a key Nugget injury. It is believed to be a right hamstring injury for Barton as we await to see the full extent of the damage.
Points: Steph Curry-32
Assists: Draymond Green-19
Rebounds: Draymond Green-12
Player of the Game: Steph Curry- 32 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 11-18 from the field, and 4-9 from three