One day after finding 3-ball magic, the Warriors will seek to keep it going Thursday night in Denver.
With a season-best 17-of-33 shooting performance from beyond the arc in a 116-95 win over the Mavericks in Oakland, the Warriors became the first team in NBA history to have four players – Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – make at last four triples in the same game.
Can the Warriors (6-2) get anywhere close to that success rate against the Nuggets (3-4) at Pepsi Center? It won’t be easy, as Denver, behind coach Michael Malone, a former Warriors assistant, ranks fourth in the league in 3-point shooting defense.
Warriors by 6.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Zaza Pachulia vs. Jusuf Nurkic: Pachulia must play smart against Nurkic, who is one of the more effective young (22) big men in the NBA. The 7-foot, 280-pound Bosnian can be crafty in the paint, so Pachulia will have to avoid foul trouble. With the Warriors at a size disadvantage up front, JaVale McGee could get significant minutes.
Warriors: C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery recover) is listed as out.
Nuggets: G Gary Harris (R groin straing) is listed as probable. F Wilson Chandler (L hamstring soreness), F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness) and F Will Barton (L ankle sprain) is listed as out.
The Warriors have won six of the last eight meetings.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) Curry’s ankle -- Though the back-to-back MVP downplayed the “tweak” of his right ankle on Wednesday, it’s worth watching to see if there are any lingering affects. Coach Steve Kerr won’t take any chances, so Curry could be a game time decision.
2) Small forwards -- Kevin Durant (Warriors) and Danilo Gallinari (Nuggets) are similar insofar as both are explosive scorers, with deep range, and probably the longest “small” forwards in the league. Durant, however, is the vastly superior defender.
3) Double whammy -- Not only will the Warriors be on the second night of a back-to-back set, but they also must cope with the thin air in the Mile High City. It should help, though, that starter minutes were light Wednesday against Dallas.