Photo credit: @warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors took a giant step as they defeated the Denver Nuggets 116-102 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors have a two-game lead and own the tiebreaker in the race in the race for the best record in the Western Conference. The Warriors are now 53-24 and Denver 51-26 with five games left to play. The Warriors face four teams with a losing record and Denver has to play a couple of playoff teams.
The Warriors outscored the Nuggets 30-24 in the first quarter and 29-19 in the second quarter to lead by 16 at the half 59-43. Kevin Durant led the team in offense, and DeMarcus Cousins put the clamps on Denver’s big center Nikola Jokic.
In the third quarter, the Warriors increased the lead to 22. Kevin Durant was ejected from the game with 8:21 left to play when he argued with a referee for not calling a foul. The referee called two technical fouls on Durant, who was sent to the locker room. Durant has been charged with 15 technicals this year, and one more will get him a one-game suspension. Warriors’ head coach kept his starters in the game at the start of the fourth quarter. The Nuggets were down by almost 30 when they made a run at the Warriors. It was too little, too late as Golden State held on for the 116-102 win.
Game Notes and Stats: DeMarcus Cousins had a double-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. It was Cousins’ best game as a Warrior, and if he continues to play well, he will be a tremendous asset for the Warriors in the playoffs. Kevin Durant finished the night with 21. Steph Curry had 17, and that total included five threes. Klay Thompson had 13. Kevon Looney added 10 and Jonas Jerebko, Alfonzo McKinnie all put points on the board.
Jamal Murray led Denver with 17. Paul Millsap 11, Jokic 10, Jarred Vanderbilt 10, and Monte Morris 10.
Up Next: The Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center in LA. Game time will be at 7:30 pm. LeBron James will not be in the Laker lineup as he is done for the year.