Nuggets vs Warriors
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Where: Chase Arena • San Francisco, CA
The vertically challenged Golden State Warriors will try to contain one of the NBA’s towers of power Wednesday night when the Denver Nuggets visit San Francisco for both teams’ final game before the All-Star break.
The Warriors watched Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein dominate them inside for a combined 27 points and 14 rebounds, making 12 of 14 shots from the field, in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 119-104 home win Monday night.
The loss was Golden State’s third in its past four games, a stretch during which the Warriors have been outrebounded by an average of 48.5 to 40.3.
The slump began with unheralded Utah Jazz big men Udoka Azubuike and Hassan Whiteside overpowering the Warriors to the tune of 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting, with 22 rebounds.
Now comes 6-foot-11 Nikola Jokic, the NBA leader in double-doubles (45) and triple-doubles (15), having 15 of the former and eight of the latter in his past 16 games.
Jokic has been more of a scorer (28 and 26 points) and less of a passer (six and seven assists) in the Nuggets’ current two-game winning streak. He had 15 rebounds in each.
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player got plenty of help in Monday’s 121-111 home win over the Orlando Magic. Newcomers Bryn Forbes and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 25 points off the bench.
Acquired from San Antonio last month, Forbes noted this week that he and Cousins, who is on his third 10-day contract with the Nuggets, are starting to settle into new roles.
“I think we’re figuring each other out and getting things rolling now,” Forbes observed. “We’re all starting to click.”
The same definitely is not true of the Warriors, coach Steve Kerr said after Monday’s loss to the Clippers. The club continues to play without defensive ace Draymond Green, who the Warriors hope to have fully recovered from disc issues in his back by sometime in March.
The Warriors allowed the Clippers, playing without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Norman Powell, to shoot 56.5 percent overall and 44.1 percent on 3-pointers.
“Our defense has been bad,” Kerr observed. “It’s been bad for six or seven games now. It’s hard to win in this league when you’re looking like we are, defensively, with so many holes in our games.
“I know we are No. 1 in defense. But we’re not right now. Those numbers are inflated by what we did earlier in the season. Over the last seven games, we are probably bottom five, if not dead-last in defensive rating.”
Golden State has allowed at least 111 points in each of its past four games.
Green also missed the Warriors’ earlier 89-86 home loss to Denver in December, a game dominated by Jokic, who had 22 points and 19 rebounds.
Golden State also didn’t have Klay Thompson for the first meeting. He had 33 points Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Warriors’ lone win in their last four outings, but he struggled through a 3-for-14, seven-point night against the Clippers.
–Field Level Media