In a game that saw both teams dominate for prolonged stretches, the Warriors finished off their road trip with a 127-108 win over the Nuggets on Saturday night. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 25 points, in addition to seven rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in only 29 minutes. Stephen Curry recorded a double-double with 22 points and 11 assists, while Draymond Green filled the stat sheet with 15 points, seven boards, eights assists, two steals and a season-high three three-pointers. With the victory, Golden State improves to 7-3 and 5-1 on the road this season.
GAME OF RUNS
At various points in the game, it appeared as if both teams were going to run away with it. Golden State got off to a great start, opening the game with back-to-back three-pointers from Draymond Green and Klay Thompson as part of a 10-2 run to begin the contest. After Denver had cut the deficit to seven, the Warriors closed the first frame on an 8-2 burst, which included three consecutive JaVale McGee scores by way of a Stephen Curry assist. McGee would go on to total a season-high 11 points in the victory.
Golden State entered the second quarter with a 13-point advantage, but that was quickly erased by a 15-0 Denver run to open the frame. Kevin Durant finally broke the seal with a three-pointer, but the Nuggets would go on to score nine of the next 11 points in the game to take a 47-41 lead on Kenneth Faried’s three-point play with 4:34 remaining in the first half. That’s as big of a lead as Denver would be able to generate, however, as Golden State would respond with a 19-8 run to close out the quarter and retake a 60-55 lead into halftime.
Then, the Warriors dealt the Nuggets the decisive blow with a torrid start to the second half. After Jamal Murray opened the scoring with a layup, Golden State answered with a 24-2 run to take a commanding lead that they would never relinquish.
CRUCIAL THIRD QUARTER
Golden State would maintain that dominant stretch throughout the duration of the third quarter, outscoring Denver 43-21 in the decisive frame. The Warriors’ 43-point third quarter ties the most points scored by any team in any quarter this season (Denver scored 43 vs. Toronto on Nov. 1).
Stephen Curry entered Saturday as the sixth leading scoring in the NBA, but he didn’t get off to a great scoring start against the Nuggets. However, Curry still managed to have an impact on the game. Despite totaling just two points on four shot attempts in the first quarter, Curry would total seven assists in the opening frame, which tied a career high for assists in a single quarter. Curry would go on to add another two assists in both the second and third quarter before sitting out the entirety of the fourth frame. His 11 assists in the game were a season-high, and his plus-minus rating of plus-44 was the highest of his career, including playoffs.
LONG DISTANCE DISPARITY
One of the Warriors’ biggest areas of advantage was beyond the three-point line. The Dubs were proficient from long distance all night long, as the game-opening sequence proved to be a sign of things to come. Golden State shot 4-of-9 from beyond the arc in the first quarter, 9-of-20 in the first half and 6-of-11 in the decisive third quarter. Meanwhile, after shooting 3-of-7 from three-point range in the first quarter, Denver would make just two of their next 13 attempts over the next two quarters, over the course of which the Warriors broke the game open. Golden State’s 18 three-pointers in the game tied a season-high.
Having just completed an undefeated three-game road trip, the Warriors will now return to the Bay Area for some home cooking and a four-game homestand beginning on Monday against the visiting Miami Heat.