The Golden State Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets 127-119 on Monday night for their first game of 2017.
At the half
A few interesting notes from the first half:
- Not a single Denver player scored in double digits during the first half until Danilo Gallinari hit a 19-foot jumper with 55 seconds left.
- Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry had 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively, and Ian Clark and Zaza Pachulia combined for 21 more.
- The Warriors scored 68 points, shooting 56.3% from the field and 57.1 from beyond the arc.
While this makes it seem like Golden State had all the makings of a blowout by halftime, the Warriors entered their locker room nursing only a 4 point lead. The key culprit? The Warriors gave up 36 points in the paint in the first half.
With big front court players Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic, Denver leads the league in rebounds per game and made a point of attacking the paint.
Offensively, the Warriors utilized its sizable firepower and displayed incredible balance.
Durant, Curry and Thompson scored 21, 22 and 25 points on 19, 18 and 19 shots, respectively. The other member of the big four, Draymond Green, had a triple double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.
By all accounts, the Nuggets played a great game. They played above their average numbers in points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage.
But even with all that, how do you stop this?
So far this season, the Warriors are undefeated when Durant, Curry and Thompson all score 20 points or more each. Add on a triple double by Draymond Green and there aren’t many teams that could survive such an offensive barrage.
The Warriors still need to work on playing disciplined, team defense against opponents that have size. And they still have stretches of play that can only be described as “lazy” or “apathetic.”
But all-in-all, the team did what they needed to secure the W and they can move on to the next game with a perfect 1-0 in 2017.