Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) gets a reverse slam on Golden State Warrior center James Wiseman (33) during Thu Jan 14, 2021 game at Denver (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors’ three-game road trip started with a thud Thursday night as they fell to the Denver Nuggets 114-104. Eric Paschall rejoined the club after he tested negative for Covid-19. He missed Tuesday’s game due to a false-positive test. While the Warriors were happy to have him back, his presence didn’t affect the game’s outcome.
The Nuggets, although they didn’t know it at the time, won the game in the first quarter. The Nuggets finished the first 12 minutes of action with a 37-24 advantage. From that point on, the Warriors were playing catch up. No matter what they did, they could not get any closer. They trailed 65-54 at the end of the first half.
The Warriors cut the deficit to five 79-74 when Kelly Oubre, Jr. hit a three. Denver finished the quarter with an 11-2 run to lead 90-76 at the end of three. Denver’s Nikola Jokic led the run for the Nuggets.
The Warriors won the fourth quarter 28-24, but it was not enough to win. Stephen Curry, James Wiseman, Kelly Oubre, and Andrew Wiggins tried, but Denver had an answer to thwart the Warriors offense. Denver holds on to win 114-104.
Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors are now 6-6 for the year. The Nuggets improved to 6-6.
Curry had a big note for Golden State. Curry scored more than 30 points for the sixth time this year. The Warriors won the first five. Steph had a double-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists.
He was 14-for-23 from the floor and 5-for-11 from beyond the three-point arc. Rookie sensation James Wiseman knocked down 18, and he had five boards. Andrew Wiggins had 16, Kelly Oubre 14. Oubre had three threes. Eric Paschall had eight. The Nuggets’ bench outscored the Warriors bench 41-20.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic finished the night with a triple-double. Nokic tallied 23 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists. Will Barton and Jamal Murray each had 17 for the Nuggets.
The Warriors turned the ball over 19 times. Head coach Steve Kerr has to have the team improve in that department.
The Warriors’ game with the Phoenix Suns Friday night was postponed as the Suns do not have enough players to perform due to contact tracing after a game with the Washington Wizards. The Warriors meet the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night at the Staples Center in LA.