It wasn’t a boat-race because English (kudos, Dan Dibley). But the Golden State Warriors got motor boated tonight, BIGLY. Seven different Denver Nuggets players hit a 3-point shot in the first 14 minutes of game time as Denver rolled the Warriors on the offensive end. And the threes would not stop there. Denver would finish an NBA all-time best 24-of-40 from three point range (60%, despite some late three-point chucking for the record).
The Warriors played well offensively, but the Nuggets put on one of the best shooting performances in the history of the NBA. “Well” wasn’t good enough.
Golden State landed in Denver short-handed, as Klay Thompson (soreness) and Shaun Livingston (childbirth!) were both unavailable. With David West and Zaza Pachulia out, that left the Warriors down four primary rotation players in the third game in four nights. But that doesn’t excuse the lackluster defense, which allowed 79 first half points to the Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic registered a triple double with 17 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists, Juancho Hernangomez had a career-high 27 points, and seven different Nugs railed three point buckets, as the Nuggets shot an absurd 71% from three through two-plus quarters of action.
Stephen Curry had one of the worst games of his career, shooting 1-of-11 from deep while clanking a number of excellent looks. Kevin Durant had a team-high 25 points on 16 shots for the Dubs.
Just as the game appeared out of reach, and the all-stars found their spots on the bench, the youngsters threatened to flip the game right back into the win column. Patrick McCaw, Briante Weber, Ian Clark, Damian Jones and James Michael McAdoo blitzed the Nuggets on defense, and diced their near-insurmountable 28-point lead down to nine in what felt like a heartbeat.
But that’s a big hill to climb for the best team in the world. For five young players learning the professional game, it was not enough.
- 17-0 second chance points in the first half. Seemingly every missed Nuggets two-pointer turned into a three-point make. It was that kind of night.
- This was one of the worst rebounding performances of the Lacob-Guber era. The Dubs got wrekt 52-to-27, which is the equivalent of...allowing a team to shoot better than 60% from three while setting the all-time record for makes with 24 fewer attempts than the next best team in NBA history. Oh.
- The Warriors and Nuggets are currently your 1-versus-8 playoff matchup. Maybe the Warriors can get some revenge, but then again, February 13, 2017.
- I continue to own a healthy monopoly on post-loss recaps. I will not be recapping any decisive playoff games, FYI.