Since the start of last season, the Golden State Warriors have won at least one home game against 25 of the other 29 teams in the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets, who visit Monday as the Warriors try to establish a new franchise-record home winning streak, aren’t one of them.
Golden State’s run at home reached 15 with a 104-89 victory over Miami on Wednesday before it split road games at Oklahoma City and Houston. Saturday’s 131-106 win over the Rockets was the Warriors’ ninth in 10 games and they shot 54.9 percent from the field.
"Anytime you get a bounce-back win and finish a four-games-in-five-nights stretch 3-1, that’s big," said Stephen Curry, who scored 27 along with backcourt mate Klay Thompson.
Curry is shooting 52.9 percent over the 10-game stretch, while Thompson has been at 52.5 overall and 47.9 from 3-point range.
They also had a strong interior presence with David Lee scoring a season-high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench. The power forward started 67 games in 2013-14 but a hamstring strain has limited him to 14 this season and a reserve role.
"What a luxury to have David Lee coming off the bench," coach Steve Kerr said. "Are you kidding me? I mean, he’s been a 20-and-10 starter his whole career. For him to accept this role and come out tonight and play the way he did, it’s powerful.
"It speaks to what this team is all about."
Most of the top offensive nights have come at home for the Warriors (32-6), whose 17-1 record, 110.0 scoring average and 50.5 shooting percentage there are all NBA bests. The win over Miami matched a franchise-record 15-game streak first set in 1989-90.
The Warriors and Nuggets split four games a season ago with the road team winning each. Denver, Washington, San Antonio and New York are the only teams Golden State hasn’t defeated at home since the start of ’13-14.
The Nuggets (18-22), though, haven’t had much road success and need to start winning some difficult away games if they’re going to make any sort of playoff push. They’ve dropped eight of 10 away from Denver and have won only one road contest against teams currently with winning records.
They seemed to be turning their season around with five straight wins, but they’ve dropped two since after Saturday’s 113-105 home loss to Minnesota marked one of their more humbling defeats of the season.
"That’s a bad loss, not because we’re playing a bad team, but in light of our schedule that we have coming up," coach Brian Shaw said. "With Golden State on Monday, San Antonio back-to-back on Tuesday, you know, I viewed this game tonight as a must-win."
Ty Lawson scored 22 points and is averaging 21.4 in the last five games, while newcomer Jameer Nelson added 16 on 7-of-10 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench in his second game since being acquired from Boston.
Randy Foye returned after missing 26 contests with a right quadriceps injury, and properly working the guard duo into the rotation was a challenge.
"I’ll take some of the grief for this game tonight in that trying to work Randy Foye back in the lineup, and figure out when and who to play Jameer with as well, I probably threw everybody off a little bit in terms of the rotational minutes that they had been playing," Shaw said.
Foye was 0 for 3 in eight minutes, but he scored 32 points in the last meeting with the Warriors – a 116-112 loss in Denver on April 16 – and is averaging 24.3 points in the last three matchups.