Warriors at Nuggets
The Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets have already had three battles this season, with one going to two overtimes and another ending in a one-point Warriors' victory following four video reviews in the final 3.4 seconds. The two Western Conference contenders will square off in the final regular-season meeting when Golden State visits Denver on Sunday. The Nuggets are riding a four-game overall winning streak and have taken two of the first three meetings.
The teams met three times over a 19-day span in November, each time taking the game down to the final moments. Danilo Gallinari’s dunk with 2.1 seconds left in the first overtime forced a second extra period and led to a Nuggets' road victory in the Nov. 10 contest. Ty Lawson held Stephen Curry to a season-low six points in another Denver win 13 days later but Curry handed out 10 assists and David Lee went for 31 points as the Warriors survived at the Nuggets on Nov. 29, 106-105.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Golden State), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (23-12): Golden State has been trying to prove it belongs among the Western Conference elite all season and has knocked off several contenders on the way up. But this month has brought the toughest stretch of schedule yet to the young Warriors, and a two-game slip could have been the start of a long decline. Instead, Golden State bounced back from losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies by taking out the Portland Trail Blazers 103-97 on Friday. Curry collected 22 points and 12 assists, and hit the clinching free throws in the final seconds to secure the win. Lee added 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors leaned on their stars to hold off a late charge. The poise exhibited by Curry and Lee along with the veteran bench presence of Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack is what the team is hoping will get it through a stretch that includes Miami , San Antonio, Oklahoma City, the Clippers and the Chicago Bulls in five of the next six games following Denver.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (22-16): After playing more road games than any other team during the first two months, Denver is finally enjoying a long stretch of home games. The Nuggets have taken four of five at home since the beginning of the January and will end up playing 12 of their 15 games this month at the Pepsi Center, giving them a chance to move up past teams like Golden State in the standings. Denver had a string of three straight games scoring at least 108 points come to an end on Friday but still managed to secure a 98-91 victory over Cleveland. The Nuggets outscored the Cavaliers 53-35 in the second half, led by 23 points from Gallinari and a career-high 21 from Kosta Koufos. Gallinari has averaged 21 points during the four-game winning streak and has chipped in 6.5 rebounds.
1. Golden State won once at Denver last season, 109-101 on Feb. 9. Curry went for 36 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the way.
2. Warriors C Andris Biedrins (groin) sat out Friday and is questionable for Sunday.
3. Nuggets F Wilson Chandler (hip) has been out since November but could make his return on Sunday.