Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) gets the water works from teammate forward Juan Toscano-Anderson, left as they celebrate their win over the Denver Nuggets on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at the Chase Center in San Francisco (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
Stephen Curry made Warrior history Monday night to lead his team with 53 points to a 116-107 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets, embarrassed by the Boston Celtics’ 31-3 late in the game to beat Denver at home, were hoping to get back on track against Golden State. The Warriors did not have Eric Paschall, Kelly Oubre, or James Wiseman available due to injury. The Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, had Kent Bazemore fill in for Oubre.
Here is a list of all the things that Curry did Monday night. Curry needed 19 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for the all-time Warrior scoring record. Curry scored 21 in the first period to pass Chamberlain’s 17,783 points. Curry was a one-person wrecking crew in the first half.
He led the team with 30 points. It was the seventh straight game with 30 or more points. Rick Barry was the last Warrior to accomplish that feat, and Barry did it in 1974. It was the 24th game of the year that Curry scored 30 or more.
It was his fifth game of the year with 40 or more points. It was his ninth 50 -point game in his career. He also connected on ten three-point shots. Curry accomplished that for the 18th time. It was also the third time that Curry had 50 points and ten threes in a game.
As mentioned above, the Nuggets were still smarting from the loss to Boston last Saturday in Denver. The Nuggets beat the Warriors earlier this year and looked to make it two wins over Golden State. The teams played a very entertaining first quarter. Curry was on fire, as mentioned above.
With Oubre and Paschall out, the Warriors needed to get all the starters into double-figures if they hoped to win. They had to find a way to contain Denver’s all-star center, Nikola Jokic. Denver improved their roster at the trade deadline by acquiring Aaron Gordon and former Warrior JaVale McGee. They also had to contain Jamal Murray, Will Barton, and Michael Porter. The Nuggets won the first quarter 33-32. Curry had 21 to pace the Warrior offense.
The Nuggets went on an 11-2 run to start the second period to lead 42-35. The Warriors did not score in the first three minutes of the quarter. Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green connected on a couple of threes to make it 48-42.
Curry returned to action and knocked down a three to close the gap to 48-45. Bazemore connected from downtown to tie the game at 54. Denver then went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 61-54. Curry made a two-point shot. Denver went to the halftime break leading by six 61-56.
The Warriors came out firing on all cylinders to start the third quarter. They stunned the Nuggets as they went on a 21-5 run to regain the lead 77-68. Curry was making shots from all over the court. The Warriors defense stopped the Nugget offense cold.
The Warriors outscored the Nuggets 43-22 to lead by 16 points 99-83 heading into the fourth quarter. Denver fought back to trail by ten 107-97. Cury was back in the game. The Warriors got sloppy with the ball, and Denver was able to creep closer 111-104. Curry and Green made free throws down the stretch to preserve the win for Golden State 116-107.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors are 26-28 for the year. Denver is 34-20.
The Warriors needed their starters to produce and did they ever. Green had a season-high 18 points. He was 7-for-8 from the floor, and he knocked down two threes. Green pulled down seven rebounds and made seven assists.
Bazemore had 14. He made three threes. Andrew Wiggins had 17 and was a force on defense. Damion Lee, coming off the bench, had eight. Kevon Looney did not score, but he had ten rebounds and played well on defense. The Warriors shot 48% from the floor. They connected on 18 threes in 44 attempts. On defense, the Warriors forced 19 Denver turnovers.
Nikola Jokic had a double-double for Denver. His line was 27 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Michael Porter was second in scoring for Denver with 24 points and nine boards. The Warriors held Aaron Gordon and Will Barton to nine points each. Bench player Monte Morris had ten for Denver.
Denver’s Jamal Murray suffered a knee injury with just 50 seconds left in the game. Murray hit the floor and was in extreme pain for several minutes. He was helped to the locker room for further examination. He probably will have an MRI.
The Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Wednesday night. The game will start at 6 pm.