Warriors vs. Nuggets: Western Conference Finals matchup? The Golden State Warriors take on the Denver Nuggets in what could be a Western Conference Finals matchup.
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Start Time: 7:30 PM PT, Oracle Arena
Channel: NBC Sports Bay Area, ESPN
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The Nuggets are only a game back of the Warriors in the race for home-court advantage in the West. The Warriors should be focused for this matchup after playing their worst game of the season, losing to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, 128–95.
It was also their worst home loss in the Steve Kerr era.
The Warriors got off to a terrible start, spotting the Celtics an 11–0 lead three minutes into the game. It did not get any better in the second half, with Golden State allowing the Celtics to shoot 51 percent from the field and committing 22 turnovers themselves. Much-maligned Celtic Gordon Hayward led Boston in scoring with 30 points off the bench in one of his best games since he’s been with the franchise.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 23 points in a losing cause. Kerr was disappointed with the Warriors effort, demanding more passion and anger to start the game. Hopefully, that passion will return tonight with Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Shaun Livingston all expected to return from injuries.
The Nuggets are struggling themselves, however, losing three of their last four games with their lone win being against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Will Barton led the team in scoring with 23 points in an easy 115–99 victory over the Lakers.
In their last meeting against the Nuggets, the Warriors played their best game of the season, dropping 51 points in the first quarter in a 142–111 rout in Denver. Curry and Thompson each dropped 31 points and combined to hit 13 of the Warriors 21 made threes. Kevin Durant scored 27 points, which included and five three-pointers. Malik Beasley led the Nuggets with 22 points, including six threes, while Jamal Murray added 21 points with four threes.
The Warriors will look to take advantage of the season series, which is knotted up at one. With the win, the Warriors will be two games ahead of the Nuggets for the all-important number one seed in the West. The win will also give them a potential tiebreaker against the Nuggets, so we should see an exciting up-and-down battle Friday night at Oracle Arena.