Highlights: Warriors defense non-existent in loss to Denver
Nate Robinson scored 24 points (9-12 FG, 3-5 3's) in just 23 minutes against the Warriors Wednesday night. (AP)
OAKLAND – The Warriors returned to the court Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, never quite shook off the cobwebs that formed over four days off and took a 123-116 loss to the Nuggets.
David Lee finished with a game-high 28 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to hold off a determined Denver team.
Stephen Curry scored 24 points but made only 4 of 13 3-point attempts. Klay Thompson added 21. Harrison Barnes came off the bench to put in 15 and Draymond Green added 11.
The Nuggets were winners largely because they played with more passion and were able to exploit holes in the Warriors' defense. The Warriors were outshot (54.2 percent to 43.3) and outrebounded 46-41.
Four Nuggets scored at least 20 points, led by former Warriors guard Nate Robinson. Denver power forward J. J. Hickson grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds.
Robinson came off the bench to deliver the kind of performance the Warriors can only hope to get from new acquisition Jordan Crawford. Robinson finished with 24 points in 23 mostly scintillating minutes.
STANDOUT PERFORMANCES: Lee, with another double-double (28 and 11), was the closest thing to an actual standout. But it should be noted that Bogut was the most efficient Warrior. He played only 24 minutes, mostly in the first half, and finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
TURNING POINT: After the Warriors took a 116-115 lead with two free throws by Lee with 1:13 left, the Nuggets responded with eight consecutive points to close out the game. A Curry turnover, leading to a breakaway dunk by Hickson was particularly damaging.
INJURY UPDATE: Centers Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery) and Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) are out indefinitely. Guard Nemanja Nedovic (hamstring) is expected to be out until late January.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors leave Thursday for Oklahoma City, where on Friday they face the Thunder. The teams split the first two games this season, the Warriors winning 116-115 on Nov. 14 at Oracle and losing 113-112 in overtime at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Warriors have lost their last nine games at Oklahoma City, are 1-9 all-time at OKC and have not won a season series against them since the franchise moved from Seattle in 2008-09.