The Golden State Warriors lost to the Denver Nuggets on Monday afternoon 120-114, falling to 15-15 on the season. Playing against one of the best teams in the Western Conference, the Dubs were unable to pull the upset on the road.
While fans were excited for a matchup between Steph Curry and Nikola Jokić, neither team’s biggest star put together a dominant overall performance. In fact, it took Jokić until the second half to make one field-goal attempt and Curry made just four of his first 14 shots.
Jokić did a better job than Curry of remaining a scoring threat, making all 16 of his free-throw attempts. He finished the game with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Curry, on the other hand, finished with just 18 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists on 7-for-21 shooting.
In need of offensive support from elsewhere, the Nuggets and Warriors differentiated strengths were on full display. Denver turned to the other potent scorers in their starting lineup. Jamal Murray scored a game-high 28 points and every member of the Nuggets’ starting lineup finished with at least 16 points. No one on Denver’s bench scored more than 6 points.
The Warriors, on the other hand, leaned on the depth that has led their recent surge in the standings. Andrew Wiggins had one of his best overall performances of the season. He was arguably the Warriors best all-around player, combining tough perimeter defense with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. Dario Šarić and Chris Paul combined to score 27 points off the bench as well. Trayce Jackson-Davis had a less impressive stat line, with just 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 fouls, but he was a key spark plug as well.
Wiggins’ improved performance still may not be enough to get him back into the starting lineup, though. Brandin Podziemski continued to impress as a starter. He filled the box score once again with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals on 4-for-7 shooting (3-for-4 from three) in more than 34 minutes of action.
The Nuggets started hot from behind the arc and led for the entirety of the first quarter. However, Golden State’s bench unit sparked a second quarter rally to take their first lead of the game. Despite a back-and-forth series of runs throughout the next two quarters, Curry and Klay Thompson’s inability to generate efficient scoring (Thompson was 3-for-12 with 9 points), proved too much to overcome as Murray caught fire late.
The Warriors will return home frustrated with another close defeat. They will have a couple of days off before returning to game action on Thursday at the Chase Center, when they host the Miami Heat. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM Pacific.