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Young Warriors flash potential but lack defensive strength to top Nuggets

The Warriors put up a commendable fight but ultimately fell short against Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets.

MARCH 07: Jonathan Kuminga #00 of the Golden State Warriors drives past DeMarcus Cousins #4 of the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on March 7, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors dropped a fast-paced 131-124 game to the Denver Nuggets, extending their losing streak to five games. While fans are surely disappointed to see the Dubs continue falling in the standings, a loss in Denver seemed inevitable as soon as the Warriors opted to sit most of their key veterans on Monday.

Amidst their worst losing streak of the season, it’s hard to say Golden State is in the position to be taking moral victories. However, with just eight players available, two of whom are rookies, two of whom are on two-way deals, the Warriors’ ability to stay competitive with one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

Moses Moody was the Warriors star of the night, building on his recent stretch of solid play in an expanded role. Moody started 3-for-3 from the field and scored 15 points in the first half. He finished with a career-high 30 points.

Jordan Poole started slowly, failing to score a point until there were less than three minutes remaining in the first half. As the game went on, though, Poole began carrying the bulk of the Warriors’ offensive weight. Poole finished 11-for-19 from the field (8-for-12 from three) with 32 points and 7 assists.

Several other Dubs stepped up with more playing time, including their two-way players: Quindarry Weatherspoon and Chris Chiozza. Both played some of their best NBA basketball of the season. Weatherspoon scored 11 points in 15 minutes of action, while Chiozza recorded 4 points and 8 assists.

The Warriors continued defensive struggles were prominent and ultimately meant they were never able to retake the lead after falling behind in the first quarter. With that said, the Nuggets were never able to take their foot off the gas pedal either. Golden State could have easily folded at several points throughout the game when Denver built a double-digit lead, but the Warriors were able to cut the lead to single digits every time, even pulling within one possession late in the fourth quarter.

Nikola Jokić carried most of the weight for the Nuggets. Even more shorthanded than usual, the Dubs had even fewer options to try and slow down last season’s MVP. Jokić recorded a triple-double with relative ease, finishing with 32 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists on just 17 field-goal attempts.

The Warriors should have their stars back in action tomorrow, where they will look to finally get themselves back on track when they host the Clippers at Chase Center at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.