Warriors vs. Nuggets – Game Recap – March 10, 2022
DENVER — Stephen Curry scored 24 of his 34 points in the second half, and the Golden State Warriors closed the game with a 13-0 run to beat the Denver Nuggets 113-102 on Thursday night.
Jordan Poole had 21 points, and Jonathan Kuminga and Klay Thompson added 18 apiece for the Warriors, who beat the Nuggets for the first time this season. Denver has won its first three games against Golden State this season, most recently a Monday Night game at Mile-High City in which Curry, Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were held off for rest.
“We left it at that,” Poole said. “We fought the whole 48, a lot of guys stepped up. We were really able to lock down the defensive end in the fourth quarter.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his 19th triple-double of the season. Monte Morris added 19 points for the Nuggets. Golden State earned its second straight victory after a five-game losing streak.
“It was a great second half, a terrible first half, so I’m proud of how the guys reacted,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It was a much needed win and hopefully we can put together a little streak here.
“In the first half, we took bad shots. I’m going to keep stressing that all of our guys, including Klay, need to get some good shots. It gives balance to our games. We have about 15 games left and we need to improve from now on.”
Trailing nine at the break, the Warriors used a strong third quarter to reclaim the lead behind a resurgent Curry, who had 18 points in the period, including a leading 3-pointer he kicked to 33 feet away.
Golden State took an 88-84 advantage in the fourth quarter and extended their lead to eight but couldn’t escape. A drive-thru lay-up from Jokic tied the score at 98 with 5:25 remaining.
The game remained tight in the final minutes, with Denver taking a 102-100 lead on a pair of free throws from Aaron Gordon with 3:10 remaining. It would be the last time the Nuggets would score.
Curry drove to the basket for layups on back-to-back possessions for a 104-102 lead with 1:59 remaining. Poole then connected on a pair of 3-pointers around back-to-back Denver turnovers to seal the victory.
The Nuggets were playing their fourth game in five nights and Morris said fatigue could have been a factor in the team’s tormented finish. Denver arrived having won 10 of its previous 11.
“I think it definitely weighed on us tonight, especially the way they moved,” Morris said. “They can play with you with switches and stuff. It’s hard with Steph getting so much attention. You kind of forget that you still have to help other guys. But it was a good test for us and I like where we are in the season at the moment.”
A basket from Poole put the Warriors up 35-32 early in the second quarter before the Nuggets, with their second unit on the ground, went on a stunning 15-0 run. Davon Reed capped the climb with a 3-pointer, JaMychal Green had two rim-rocking dunks, both off feed into the lane of Bones Hyland, who also had a nice drive past Kuminga for a finger layup.
The Warriors cut the deficit to one point on Kevon Looney’s bank shot, but the Nuggets scored eight straight points in the final 94 seconds of the quarter, capped by Morris’ layup for the 60-51 lead at halftime for Denver.
Warriors: F Draymond Green, out since early January with a back injury, is expected to return next week. … F Otto Porter Jr. missed a third game due to illness. … G Gary Payton II remains day to day due to left knee pain.
Nuggets: F Will Barton missed a third straight game with a sprained left ankle suffered Sunday against New Orleans. … F Jeff Green returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game in Sacramento to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter. … Hyland returned to action after missing the Sacramento game with left knee pain.
Warriors: Go home to host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Nuggets: Host Toronto Saturday night.