Nuggets at Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have surged into contention at the top of the Pacific Division thanks to five wins in seven games and some rapid improvement from their young players. One opponent the Warriors have not been able to solve has been the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have taken two meetings from Golden State already this season, including a 107-101 overtime setback at ORACLE Arena on Nov. 10.
Denver had its four-game winning streak snapped at Utah on Monday - the beginning of a stretch of eight of nine on the road. The Nuggets had built that winning streak on defense, holding the four opponents to an average of 90.3 points - including a 102-91 win over the Warriors on Friday. Golden State struggled to contain Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala in that contest but bounced back the following night as rookie Harrison Barnes and second-year swingman Klay Thompson stepped up against Minnesota.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (8-7): After a 4-6 start that had Denver struggling to put things together on both ends of the floor during the same game, the Nuggets seemed to gel during the four-game winning streak. They went over 100 points three times during the run while also holding each of the four opponents under the century mark. Denver could not keep that up on Monday, when it suffered a 105-103 loss at Utah. Iguodala drew a pair of technical fouls and was ejected in the third quarter and the Nuggets struggled to contain the Jazz on the interior.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (8-6): Golden State does not have the pieces to exploit Denver’s deficiency on the interior due to Andrew Bogut’s slow recovery from an ankle injury. But the Warriors are becoming one of the stronger perimeter teams with Barnes and Thompson joining Stephen Curry as reliable scoring threats. Barnes struggled through the worst game of his rookie campaign at Denver on Friday, recording a season-low four points on 1-of-5 shooting while struggling with foul trouble against Iguodala and company. Barnes bounced back against the Timberwolves, recording his third double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
1. Denver has won in four of its last six trips to ORACLE Arena. Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried each recorded a double-double in the Nov. 10 win.
2. Curry was held to six points in the last game against Denver.
3. Gallinari has recorded 20 or more field goal attempts in only two games this season - both against the Warriors. He shot a combined 16-for-42 (38 percent) in those two games.