The Golden State Warriors (6-3) are back to winning ways after back-to-back blowout victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors once again turned it on in the second half against the Spurs, whom they outscored 62-37 in the final two periods.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant all topped 20 points, while Draymond Green added 16, five boards, and seven assists.
They visit the Denver Nuggets (5-4), who have now won four of their last five games after a close 95-94 win over the Miami Heat last night.
Paul Millsap had 27 points, including some key late free throws, to lead the Nuggets, while Nikola Jokic added a strong double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Three keys to the game
Three-point shooting – The Nuggets have been one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league this year, shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. The likes of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray have blown hot and cold, but they’ll need those two guards’ A-game if they want to beat Golden State.
Effort level – The Warriors have had a habit of playing down to their opponents this season, though. After showing they’ve still got it by dismantling two of the conference’s top teams, they could go back to taking the foot off the gas against Denver.
Nuggets frontcourt – Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap have been the strength of this Nuggets team thus far. After a slow start, Jokic is playing excellent ball lately, putting up nearly 19 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists over his last five games. He and Millsap will need to continue their fine play against the Warriors’ terrific frontcourt of Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
Matchup to watch
Klay Thompson vs Gary Harris – Harris is slowly gaining a reputation as one of the best young two-way guards in the game. However, he’ll have to prove it against the best like Klay Thompson, who will be out to outshine the young Nugget on both ends of the court.
Warriors projected starting lineup
PG – Stephen Curry | SG – Klay Thompson | SF – Kevin Durant | PF – Draymond Green | C – Zaza Pachulia
Nuggets projected starting lineup
PG – Jamal Murray | SG – Gary Harris | SF – Wilson Chandler | PF – Paul Millsap | C – Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets’ backcourt defense remains spotty, which makes Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson intriguing plays in fantasy. Both players have been pretty consistent for the most part this season and they could continue that strong play unless the Warriors just blow the Nuggets out.
The Nuggets are actually playing slightly better defense this year, and are playing at a significantly slower pace. With that combination of factors, the shootouts in the Mile High City will be fewer and farther between. Even with the Warriors coming to town, look for the total to go under the line of 230.5.
The Warriors mess around but still pull out a 110-104 win on the road.
This game will be broadcast on Altitude and NBC Sports Bay Area. Tip-off at Pepsi Center is at 9:00 pm ET.
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