Nuggets-Warriors Preview

The Denver Nuggets put together four straight wins before coming
up short their last time out.

Another matchup against the Golden State Warriors could help
them get back on track.

Having already seen each other twice this season, the visiting
Nuggets try to continue their recent dominance of the Warriors as
the teams square off Thursday night.

Denver (8-7) found itself on the verge of its longest winning
streak of the season before letting a 16-point lead slip away in
Monday’s 105-103 loss at Utah.

The Nuggets shot a season-high 54.8 percent and outrebounded the
Jazz 38-31 but couldn’t overcome the absence of Andre Iguodala, who
received his second technical foul and was ejected after Utah’s
14-2 run with 3:24 left in the third quarter.

“You can learn from every game,” said Iguodala, who finished
with 10 points. “You can learn if you don’t do the right things, if
you don’t put the game out of reach like you’re supposed to, you
can lose the game. Some things were out of our control, but we
still have to learn to be mentally tough – including myself – to
get through it and fight for a win.”

The Nuggets now turn their attention to the Warriors (8-6), whom
they’ve had their way with of late. Denver has taken 11 of 14
matchups in the series, including the last three by an average of
18.7 points.

After pulling out a 107-101 double-overtime road win Nov. 10,
the Nuggets beat Golden State 102-91 on Friday behind a season-high
29 points from Iguodala. Danilo Gallinari added 20 for Denver,
which outscored the Warriors 58-34 in the paint.

While David Lee had 21 points for Golden State in that game,
Stephen Curry struggled to break free from Ty Lawson and was 2 of 5
for six points – 12.4 less than his team-leading average.

“I think Ty and him have a little bit of a rivalry,” Nuggets
coach George Karl said. “He’s understanding he can be a pest on
that end of the court.”

Curry, though, found his stroke the following night in a 96-85
win over Minnesota, posting 20 points while going 5 for 10 from
3-point range. Klay Thompson also had it going, compiling a
season-high 24 points.

Thompson averaged 13.4 points on 33.3 percent shooting in his
first 11 games but has since averaged 21.0 on 50.0 percent from the
field in his last three.

“It’s good to see him shooting with confidence, being aggressive
and not worrying about missing shots, because at the end of the
day, he’s not coming out for missing shots,” coach Mark Jackson
told the league’s official website. “That’s not going to happen.
He’s too good of a shooter and obviously you can see the weapon
that he adds to our offense.”

Harrison Barnes, the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft,
has also provided a spark. He had 10 points and 11 rebounds against
the Timberwolves – his third double-double in seven games.

“We’re 8-6 without our starting center (Andrew Bogut), without
our sixth man (Brandon Rush), with a bunch of young guys that just
flat-out compete,” Jackson said. “There’s going to be some tough
nights for us, I don’t have to be a prophet to tell you that, but
this team has something about it that refuses to let go of the
rope.”

Golden State, which allowed a league-high 106.8 points per game
over the previous three seasons, has surrendered an average of 88.7
during a three-game home winning streak. The Warriors haven’t won
four straight in Oakland since March 25-April 6, 2011.