Familiar foes: Nuggets and Warriors set to battle once again

Denver looking to beat Golden State for third time in three weeks
by Aaron Lopez

There won’t be many secrets when the Denver Nuggets face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

It will be the third regular-season meeting between the two teams in less than three weeks. They also played once during the preseason.

“We know them very well,” Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari said after practice Wednesday. “They want to come at us because we won two games against them. It’s going to be an interesting game.”

Gallinari has enjoyed success in Denver’s two victories against the Warriors. On Nov. 10 in Oakland, he made 8 of his final 11 shots, including the go-ahead three-pointer in double-overtime.

When the two teams played at Pepsi Center on Nov. 23, Gallinari scored 20 points and added seven rebounds in a 102-91 win. The Nuggets trailed by six points at halftime of that game before rallying in the second half.

“It’s like playing a playoff series, almost, when you play them three times in a few weeks,” Nuggets coach George Karl. “They’re in good place. They’ve had a good run so far and we’ve had two good wins against them – one a little bit on the thievery side and one might have been the best half of basketball we’ve played all year. We just have to go into the game and battle them.”

The Nuggets (8-7) are coming off a tough loss at Utah on Monday night.

In the second game of a back-to-back set, Denver led by as many as 16 points before the Jazz rallied in the second half. It didn’t help matters that Gallinari was limited by a stomach flu and starting guard/forward Andre Iguodala was ejected in the third quarter.

Despite the adversity, the Nuggets still had a chance to win the game in the final seconds before falling 105-103.

“Coulda, woulda, shoulda, it just didn’t happen,” Iguodala said. “We just have to try to steal a game somewhere.”

As long as the Nuggets continue to play hard, Karl believes they will have success while navigating a stretch that includes eight of nine games on the road.

“We’re not shooting the ball well, we’re not finishing well, we’re not shooting free throws well,” Karl said. “We’re winning games on guts and grit more than we are skills and talent.”


WHEN: 8:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
TV; RADIO: TNT; 104.3 FM, AM-950


F Danilo Gallinari
F Kenneth Faried
C Kosta Koufos
G Andre Iguodala
G Ty Lawson

F Harrison Barnes
F David Lee
C Festus Ezeli
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Wilson Chandler (hip) and Julyan Stone (hip) are out.
GOLDEN STATE: Andrew Bogut (ankle), Brandon Rush (knee) and Richard Jefferson (calf) are out.

The Nuggets have performed well against the Warriors in recent years, having gone 19-7 head-to-head with Golden State since 2005-06, and 6-5 in Golden State . . . Denver had not lost a season series against Golden State since the 2002-03 season (0-4) before going 1-2 in 2011-12 . . . Denver has won at least two games against Golden State in nine of the past 10 seasons . . . The Warriors hold the Pepsi Center record for most points scored by an opponent with 129 in a losing effort against the Nuggets on 11/24/06 (Denver won 140-129) . . . The Nuggets set a team record with 52 assists at Golden State on 4/21/89.