The Golden State Warriors have suffered their third loss of the season, falling 108-105 to the Denver Nuggets in another frantic finish at Ball Arena on Wednesday night.
Stephen Curry had an opportunity to tie the game in the final 10 seconds, but blew an uncontested left-handed layup that he’d make more often than not. The Warriors had another chance after a missed second free-throw from Reggie Jackson, but Klay Thompson fumbled the transition pass from Chris Paul before he could attempt a game-tying three at the buzzer.
The Golden State Warriors will rue missed opportunities and an obvious refereeing mistake in a 108-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Curry and the Warriors will also look back at a pivotal non-call early in the fourth-quarter. With Golden State down two with less than nine minutes to play, the two-time MVP had his running layup blocked by Aaron Gordon before Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got a transition layup on the other end.
Curry and head coach Steve Kerr were incensed, with replays showing the ball had clearly hit glass before touched by Gordon. The four-point turnaround ultimately proved crucial, but the Warriors had their chances regardless.
Curry went scoreless in the first-quarter and the Warriors tallied just 21 as a team, but their defense held up reasonably well in the face of an early Nuggets onslaught. Denver struggled from the floor for the majority of the first-half, yet Golden State didn’t help themselves by committing six more turnovers and conceding nine offensive rebounds.
Although Curry got away from the pesky Caldwell-Pope for three second-quarter triples, no Warrior reached double-figures as they posted just 47 points as a team in the first-half.
The Nuggets continued to struggle outside Jokic in the third-quarter, with the two-time MVP trying to bully his way through Kevon Looney and later Trayce Jackson-Davis. Jokic had 14 points in the quarter but Denver had just 23 as team, giving Golden State a 78-76 lead heading to the fourth.
Neither team was able to create separation throughout the final period, with both defenses holding sway in the low-scoring affair. Jokic was simply too good though, proving the player of the game with 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block on 14-25 shooting.
The Warriors had six players score in double-digits, again led by Curry for a ninth-straight game. The 35-year-old’s 23 points came on just 6-17 shooting though, with all six of his field-goal makes coming from beyond the arc. Klay Thompson added 15, while Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody each had 10 in a bench unit that outscored the opposing Nuggets bench 42-12.
Golden State shot just 43% from the floor and 31.4% from three-point range, with their efficiency again proving the issue as it had in their first two losses. They arrested the rebounding and turnover problems from the first-half, but it wasn’t enough as they fall to 6-3 on the season.
The Warriors will be hoping to regain Draymond Green and Gary Payton II for the first game of their six-game home-stand against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Given the absence of the dynamic defensive duo, Golden State’s effort against the reigning champions was both encouraging and disappointing given the nature of the three-point loss.