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Warriors revitalize ‘Strength in Numbers’ in win over Nuggets

The Warriors become the first team in NBA history to win 30 of their first 35 games in three straight seasons.  

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. — In honor of the new year, the Golden State Warriors decided to blend a little bit of the old with the new in their win over the Denver Nuggets.

The superstar stuffed starting lineup delivered as expected. However the Dubs also dusted off the now seemingly old mantra of ‘Strength in Numbers’ that has not been seen all too much in the 2016-17 campaign.

JaVale McGee had a Mo Buckets type of night by matching points with minutes played, scoring nine points in nine minutes along with four rebounds.

Ian Clark also continues to impress off the bench with a 12 point effort on just five shots in 16 minutes of play.

“I thought the bench was the key to the game,” Steve Kerr said in his post game presser. “Ian Clark gave us great minutes early.”

Clark is averaging nine points per game on 61% shooting from the field over his last 10 contests and along with McGee have given the Warriors an efficient scoring combo off the bench.

It is safe to say that McGee and Clark are effectively filling the voids left by former role players Mo Speights and Leandro Barbosa.

Draymond Green led the way with 13 of Golden State’s 33 assists. He also scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season.

Sharing the ball is nothing new to this Golden State team. But as they continue to grow together we can expect to see more of a scoring punch out of the Warrior’s bench.

“That’s kind of who we are. A lot of people sharing the ball and sharing the shots,” said Kerr. “They have really figured out how to play together. When to attack and when to defer. It’s great to see.”

While the offense continues to hum, the Warriors continue to get hurt on the offensive glass. Golden State gave up 16 offensive rebounds to Denver on Monday night and allow a league worst 12 offensive boards per game.

These extra possessions are a huge factor as to why the Warriors’ opponents (90.1 FGA per game, 29th in NBA) average more shots per game than the Warriors (87.3 FGA per game, 4th in NBA) do.

While this is a problem that has been nipping at the heels of the Warriors all season, it is all but completely masked by their offensive efficiency.

The Warriors shoot an NBA best .498% from the field on the season while opponents average a league worst .430% from the field and .322% from behind the arc.

If Golden State can continue to score and defend at their current rate, opponent’s offensive rebounds are more annoying than back breaking. However a poor night of shooting combined with too many free possessions for the opponent could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Game Notes

Via Warriors PR

  • Zaza Pachulia turned in one of his more solid performances of the season with 11 points, nine rebounds and a team leading +17 (+/-). He even dunked!
  • Stephen Curry hit three three-pointers to pass Dale Ellis (1,719 career threes) for 15th place on the NBA’s all-time threes list with 1,722 threes.
  • Golden State shot 52.6 percent from the field and are 17-0 this season when they shoot at least 50% from the field.
  • The Warriors are 12-0 this season when Stephen Curry (22 points), Kevin Durant (21) and Klay Thompson (25) each score 20 points in the same game.

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