On Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors fell short of an incredible comeback victory against the Denver Nuggets in an 89-86 loss. In one of the Dubs’ strangest games of the season, Golden State fell behind early and seemed destined for a blowout loss. But after trailing 60-36 at the half, the Warriors quickly began chipping away at the Nuggets lead and nearly pulled out the win.
In one of the Warriors strangest games of the season, here are five strange stats that stand out from the game:
Neither team scored 90 points
Even with both Denver and Golden State missing several of their best scorers, it’s still surprising to see teams with two of the most dynamic offensive forces in the NBA fail to reach 90 points. In fact, it’s the first game all season for either team where neither they nor their opponent scored at least 90 points. It’s even more dramatic for the Warriors, who had yet to play a game where a team had not scored at least 100 points.
Nikola Jokic’s 8 turnovers
Given all that’s on Nikola Jokic’s plate in Denver’s offense, it is hard to be surprised by a high-turnover total. However, a Warriors team playing without Draymond Green forced Jokic to commit 8 turnovers, tied for the fourth-highest single-game total of his career, and his highest this season.
The Warriors bench did not make a three
Even a depleted Warriors bench still features some notable deep threats, like Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica. All five of the Warriors subs on Tuesday (Porter, Bjelica, Andre Iguodala, Jonathan Kuminga, and Chris Chiozza) are viable three-point shooters. They are averaging 4.1 made threes on 12.3 attempts per game this season combined. Given the Dubs missing offensive firepower, it’s perhaps most surprising that the Warriors reserves only attempted 8 threes, well below their average, and failed to make one. It’s only the second time the Dubs did not get a made three from their reserves this season.
Jonathan Kuminga & Juan Toscano-Anderson finished 4-16 from the free-throw line
Jonathan Kuminga’s struggles from the free-throw line got most of the attention, he finished 3-for-10, but Juan Toscano-Anderson’s 1-for-6 tally was as problematic. The Warriors finished 16-for-31 on free throws, but everyone besides Kuminga and JTA shot 80% from the line. Kuminga and Toscano-Anderson have never been knockdown shooters, but that abysmal efficiency was a massive deviation from their career marks.
Kuminga was shooting 72.7% (16-for-22) from the free-throw line over his last 15 NBA games and is shooting 73.7% on free-throws across his 6 games in the G-League. Toscano-Anderson had only attempted more than five free throws in a game once prior to Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the career 65.7% free-throw shooter had never before missed more than three in a game.
Stephen Curry’s plus/minus 180
No one’s play transformed more from the first quarter to fourth than Stephen Curry’s. After an ugly four-turnover first quarter where Curry did not score a point, he rebounded from his sloppy start with a fantastic second half. Curry scored 21 points in the second half on 5-for-10 shooting from the field (5-for-9 from three). Curry finished the game with a +5 plus/minus, but how he got there was a stark contrast. After a -17 plus/minus in the first half, Curry’s plus/minus was +22 across the third and fourth quarters.