Gallinari's 18 lead Nuggets past Warriors, 104-98

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Gallinari's 18 lead Nuggets past Warriors, 104-98

DENVER (AP) Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points, Corey Brewer had 15 and the Denver Nuggets pulled away late to beat the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.Stephen Curry had 25 points and Klay Thompson had 21 for the Warriors, shooting a combined 8 for 10 from 3-point range. David Lee had 15 points as Golden State lost for the first time in four preseason games.The Nuggets led 94-92 when Brewer six straight points. He was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws and then made a 3 to give Denver a 100-92 lead.Golden State responded with six in a row and had two chances to tie but Jeremy Tyler was called for a charge and then Kosta Koufas blocked his layup attempt with 49 seconds remaining.Koufas, who had 13 rebounds, sealed the win with two putbacks that gave Denver a 104-98 lead.Denver led by nine early in the third quarter when the Warriors made a push. Curry hit two 3s and rookie Harrison Barnes had one to cut the deficit to 65-64.Curry gave the Warriors an 86-84 lead - their first lead of the game - with his fourth 3 with 1:02 left in the third quarter. Denver scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.The Nuggets never trailed in the first half and were tied only once, at 19-all midway through the first quarter. They scored the next eight points and led by as many as 12.The Warriors rallied late in the second quarter to cut the lead to 56-53 at halftime. Thompson had 13 points and Curry scored 12 at the break.Gallinari led the Nuggets with 12 points at intermission.Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala, acquired from Philadelphia in a four-team trade in August that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to the 76ers, had 10 points and a game-high seven assists in his first game in Denver.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.