Draymond Green triple-double leads Golden State past Denver
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Everybody on the bench kept reminding Draymond Green in the final few minutes, ”One more rebound, one more rebound.”
He figured they had jinxed him.
Then he blocked out and secured that last board for a putback with 28.9 seconds left to give him his second triple-double of the season, also getting 15 points and 13 assists to lead the balanced Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 127-119 on Monday night.
As much as the Golden State starters have sat through the fourth quarter during blowouts this season, Green has had fewer chances at triple-doubles and still come close.
”No, I don’t care at all. It’s not really a focus of mine,” Green insisted. ”Trust me, if I cared I’d have a lot more than what I have – one? – this year.”
Klay Thompson had 25 points to lead six Warriors in double figures, while Stephen Curry scored 22 points in Golden State’s eighth straight home victory.
Kevin Durant scored 21 points, Zaza Pachulia reached double digits for the third time with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Ian Clark came off the bench to score 12 points.
”At the end of the day we can all just miss and let Draymond clean it up,” Curry quipped.
Durant had a triple-double Friday against Dallas and the consecutive triple-doubles by different players were a first for the franchise, the Warriors said according to The Elias Sports Bureau.
”He does that for us every night,” Durant said of Green’s steady stat line.
The Warriors also reached 30 assists for the third straight game and NBA-best 24th time total. Golden State is the first team in NBA history to win 30 of its first 35 games in three consecutive seasons.
Wilson Chandler and Nikola Jokic scored 21 points apiece to lead Denver, which matched the star-studded Warriors for most of the first half. Golden State shot 56.3 percent and the Nuggets 54.2.
Chandler’s 3-pointer with 8:13 to play cut the Golden State lead to 104-98 before Andre Iguodala dunked on the other end moments later.
Curry had seven 3s in the last meeting against Denver on Nov. 10, but went 3 for 9 from long range. He moved into sole possession of 15th place in NBA history for career 3-pointers (1,722), passing Dale Ellis (1,719) – with Curry saying, ”I vaguely remember him as a player and it’s kind of cool every so often when you get another notch on that list that name that you do pass and kind of getting a look back into the history books.”
Defending the 3-point line was a top priority for Denver, which also is still working to finish out games.
”If you look at Golden State probably six years ago they were in the same position as we are right now,” Emmanuel Mudiay said.
Durant’s 763 points in 33 games against the Nuggets is his highest total versus any opponent.
Both teams put on an offensive show during a fantastic first half in which they were shooting at least 62.5 percent until midway through the second quarter.
Green also made a pretty pass to Durant for a dunk, then Durant swished a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer with a defender in his face for a 68-64 lead. The Warriors hit 8 of 14 first-half 3s.
Nuggets: Denver’s Kenneth Faried – who was taken off the court on a stretcher with a neck brace to stabilize him in Oakland on Jan. 2 a year ago immediately after his team’s loss here – didn’t play this time because of lower back pain. … Darrell Arthur also was sidelined for Denver because of left knee soreness.
Warriors: Green had his 10th game with at least 10 assists, and the Warriors are 10-0 when he does so. … JaVale McGee had his 49th and 50th dunks in the first quarter. … Golden State has won five in a row at home vs. Denver. … Rookie Patrick McCaw was out again with flu-like symptoms.
Nuggets: Host Sacramento on Tuesday to complete a back-to-back. It’s the first meeting between the teams after the Kings won all three last season.
Warriors: Host Trail Blazers on Wednesday after Portland took a 135-90 beating in its last visit to Oracle Arena on Dec. 17 for the Warriors’ largest margin of victory in the rivalry.