No Post-Christmas Miracle For Golden State Nuggets Prevail 89-86

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry after he converts shooting a 3-point basket, the 3,000th of his career runs up the other end of the court against the Denver Nuggets on Tue Dec 28, 2021 at the Chase Center in San Francisco (AP News photo)

No Post-Christmas Miracle For Golden State Nuggets Prevail 89-86

By Barbara Mason

The absence of Draymond Green really hurt the Golden State Warriors (27-7) offensively and most of all defensively. They dug a very deep hole for themselves in the first half of this game with poor shooting and turnovers. The results for the Warriors were just as bad in a three point 89-86 loss to the Denver Nuggets (17-16)

The good news for the Warriors was the return of Andrew Wiggins Tuesday night. They took on Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the first of back-to-back games against Denver.

There was some bad news however for Golden State in this game. The Nuggets completely outplayed the Warriors in the first quarter. Turnovers and missed shots gave the Nuggets the early 31-16 lead. While it was great to have Wiggins back, he needed help from his teammates who could not get anything going.

At the half the Warriors were looking at a 60-36 deficit. Denver was totally beating up Golden State in this game. The shots from downtown were elusive for the Warriors shooting 4 of 17. This was the lowest score of the season for Golden State in a first half. They were shooting 23% after two quarters. The Nuggets got off to a running start in this game and it would be tough to slow them down.

The Nuggets Will Barton had 17 points but it was the huge presence of Jokic that ruled the court in the first two quarters. The Warriors had a lot of work to do in the second half.

The Warriors had dug a deep hole and would need a monster third quarter to make up this deficit. Wiggins was high point man in the first half with 12 points and was the only player with double digits. Stephen Curry had two points and was 0-5 from downtown and they needed to somehow get Curry open. The bench didn’t have much going either. The bright spot of the contest Curry hit his 3000th career three pointer to become the first NBA player in history to accomplish such a feat.

This game could possibly be the best game that the Nuggets have played all season. They had it going at every turn, forcing turnovers and missed shots and they had totally contained Curry.

Golden State cut the 24 point half time deficit by nearly a half in the third quarter. The Nuggets started to miss some shots but the Warriors could not take full advantage of it. The third quarter did end on a high note as Curry hit his first three point shot of the game. Trailing by the score of 74-61 the Warriors needed stops and they needed a lot of them.

In the fourth quarter Jonathan Kuminga cut the Nugget lead to single digits with eight minutes left in the game. Denver had been held to 27 % shooting in the second half trying to hold onto a five point lead 79-74.

Denver had only shot 19 points in the second half with six minutes remaining. With less than a minute the game was tied at 84. The Nuggets Will Barton was the difference in this game scoring a tipped shot and a couple of free throws.

The final was 89-86. The post-Christmas miracle that almost was, did not come to fruition. Golden State certainly had a lot of opportunity to win this game but they just had too much to overcome.

Great defense by the Warriors in the second half was just not enough. The missed free throws, 15 in all, and the turnovers really hurt the team in this game. The double coverage on Curry all night was also challenging. He did finish with 23 points and five from downtown. It was just too little too late for Golden State.

The Warriors continue the home at home series and will have the opportunity to even the score Thursday night in Denver when they play a second game. Tipoff is schedule for 6:30.

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