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Warriors fry Nuggets in statement win

Dubs take first in the West in record breaking form

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

“We don’t have to remind them...they know.”

“No. I think they know who we are”

“I think we are way past making statements. We understand what type of team we are and what we are capable of.”

Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry can downplay the statement talk all they want to in the midst of the Golden State Warriors’ 142-111 annihilation of the Denver Nuggets last night, but this was in fact a statement game.

The Warriors may not have issued this emphatic memo specifically to the Nuggets nor to the rest of the field. The statement didn’t have anything to do with them at all. This statement was made to the Warriors by the Warriors as a reminder of who they are and what they are capable of.

Curry mentioned recently that it was time to gain momentum and string together a run.

Five wins and the conference lead later, the Warriors matched the longest win streak of the season. Here are three observations from last night’s impressive win at Denver.

Warriors are three-centric again.

The Nuggets entered the game with the best three point defense in the league, holding opponents to 33 percent shooting from deep. The Warriors shot 26 percent from three in the last meeting.

However, the Warriors rolled into Denver three-centric. They have amped up the attempts and makes during the streak. Something had to give and last night it was the Nuggets’ defense as the Warriors torched them for a record breaking 10 threes in 14 attempts in the first quarter.

The threes were efficient and demoralizing. Curry scored 31 on 8-of 13 from deep. Durant shot 5-for-7 while Klay Thompson shot 5-for-8. The Warriors finished the game shooting a blistering 53. 8 percent from three.

Defense stifled Jokic and Held Their own in the Paint.

The Warriors’ defense made containing Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic their top priority from the jump. The Dub’s defense played Jokic straight up and also threw double teams at him, making him work for the 17 points he scored.

Usually opponents have a field day against the Warriors in the paint and there is not answer. Denver only out scored the Warriors by two in the paint. Not only Kevon Looney guarded Jokic well, he also snagged a career high of 12 rebounds.

For a team that’s struggled with rebounding for most of the year, the Warriors out rebounded the Nuggets 50-36 last night.

Better Motion

The Warriors opened the first quarter with 16 assists to only one turnover. They finished the game with 38 assists. The offense emphasized the not only making the extra pass and moving the ball around, their cuts and movement off the ball was sharp and purposeful.

Take this post split sequence for example. Notice Shaun Livingston’s up screen when he throws it to Green in the post. He takes out two defenders for a Thompson three.

Here’s the same low post split action. This time with Curry.

Obviously Curry will take two defenders with him. Instead of a three, this sequence ended a Looney slam. In addition to the post split, the Warriors used pin-downs to elude the defense and generate some great looks. This is the Warriors offense at their best, and I expect them to continue to build good habits with their movement and pace tonight when they take on the Pelicans at Oracle.

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