Facing unrecognizable Warriors without Draymond Green, the Nuggets recited their basketball in the first half before suffering the awakening of the defense of Golden State and Stephen Curry, who scored 18 points in the last 13 minutes. The 16/31 in free throws and the 18 lost balls of Golden State, however, allowed Denver to come away with the victory.

The theme of the meeting was given in the first three minutes, with five balls lost for Golden State including four for Stephen Curry, and a 10-0 Nuggets. Faced with the Warriors without rhythm and intensity, Nikola Jokic and Will Barton walk around and Denver ends the first quarter with a 13-0 (31-16). The gap reached 24 at the break as the Nuggets recite their basketball with 19 assists and the Warriors floundered with a 4/14 on free throws and 4/17 from distance (60-34).

The Golden State defense finally came out of the water as they returned from the locker room, limiting Denver to 8 points in the first ten minutes of the third quarter to come down to -11 (68-57). The Nuggets manage to limit the Warriors’ momentum but the awakening of the hitherto awkward and legless Stephen Curry who plants three award-winning shots, brings the Dubs down to -5 (79-74)! The double MVP continues its festival but it is ultimately a tap and a block from Jokic that allows the Nuggets to escape the heist of the Warriors.

– The indispensable Draymond Green. Deprived of their handyman, the Warriors were lost to start the game. More than anything, it was the pace and intensity that Draymond Green gives to Golden State’s game that Steve Kerr’s men sorely missed. They lacked aggression and movement up front, resulting in eight lost balls in the first quarter, four of which went to Stephen Curry. What says lack of rhythm, often also says lack of address. On the other hand, the Warriors suffered under the onslaught of Will Barton and the selflessness of the Nuggets starting with Nikola Jokic’s vista of two-man strikes.

– Mike Malone and the Nuggets’ playing identity. Despite the absences of six major players in their rotation, Denver is anchored in the Top 6 of the Western Conference. Obviously, Nikola Jokic has a lot to do with it, but Mike Malone’s work must also be highlighted. The coach has installed a system which highlights the qualities of his MVP and which preaches altruism and “extra pass” to his players in attack, and effort in defense. They showed it again that night. They took advantage of Draymond Green’s absence to focus their defense on Stephen Curry and force the other Warriors to create play.

– The Awakening of the Defense of the Warriors and Stephen Curry. On the street in the first half, the Golden State defense limited the Nuggets to 29 points after the break by regaining an intensity worthy of the name. Stephen Curry had to wait until the end of the third quarter time to point the tip of his nose. After seven failed 3-pointers, he scored his 3,000th career award-winning shot and tied his record of 157 straight games with at least one 3-point goal. Once the double MVP saw the ball go into the basket, the floodgates were open. He will score 15 points in the last quarter time at 3/6 from distance but he missed the shot that could have put the Warriors in front in the last minute.

✅ Nikola Jokic. The MVP dominated in the racket, despite the strong defense from Kevon Looney. He finished the game with 22 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, but also 8 lost balls. He was decisive late in the game, catching a big offensive rebound and blocking Jonathan Kuminga’s equalizer layup with five seconds left.

✅ Will Barton. The Nuggets winger scored 17 of his 21 first-half points. He continued to attack the circle in the second half but then impaled himself on the Golden State defense.

✅ Andrew Wiggins. In his first game in ten days, Andrew Wiggins showed no signs of fatigue. Unlike his teammates, he floated in the first half, finishing with 21 points and 8 rebounds.

⛔ Stephen Curry. Despite waking up in the last quarter, the Warriors star was on the streets for much of the game. However, he finished the game’s top scorer with 23 points but 6/16 on shots. He had the opportunity to put the Warriors in front with 32 seconds left but did not convert his shot from a distance.

Golden State (27-6) – Denver (16-16): the two teams will meet on the night of Thursday to Friday, in Denver, for the second round of this “home & home”.

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