Instant Replay: Warriors can't cool off red-hot, record-tying Nuggets in loss

Instant Replay: Warriors can't cool off red-hot, record-tying Nuggets in loss

BOX SCORE

The shorthanded Warriors rolled into the thin air of Denver Monday night and were vaporized by the no less compromised Nuggets.

After back-to-back emotional wins at Memphis and Oklahoma City, the Warriors showed little life at either end in a 132-110 loss at Pepsi Center.

The Warriors (46-9) were exploited by Denver’s hot shooting from deep, as the Nuggets drained 24 3-pointers, tying an NBA record. Their 79 points in the first half were the most scored in any half against the Warriors this season.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points to lead five Warriors scoring in double figures. Ian Clark totaled 18 points, Pat McCaw, starting in place of injured Klay Thompson, put in career-high 17points. Andre Iguodala tossed in 12 points and Stephen Curry added 11.

How bad was it for the Warriors? Draymond Green grabbed two rebounds in 24 minutes and Curry missed 14 of his 18 shots from the field.

Forward Juancho Hernangomez scored a game-high 27 points to lead Denver, which shot 54.5 percent from the field -- and 60 percent (24-of-40) beyond the arc.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Nobody showed better than McCaw, whose fourth quarter nearly brought the Warriors back from the abyss.

McCaw’s line: 17 points (7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 1-of-5 from deep, and 2-of-2 from the line), two assists and one rebound. He played a season-high 35 minutes, finishing minus-22.

TURNING POINT

After trailing by as much as 15 in the first quarter, the Warriors pulled within eight (42-34) with 11:19 left in the second quarter -- only to have the Nuggets respond with an 8-0 run for a 16-point lead (50-34) with 9:14 left in the half.

The Warriors, who trailed by as much as 27 before halftime, rallied to get within nine in the fourth quarter (109-100, 7:29 remaining) but could not close the gap.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (personal), C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain), G Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) were listed as out.

Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler (illness) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. G Emmanuel Mudiay (low back pain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness), F Kenneth Faried (R ankle sprain) and F Danilo Gallinari (L groin strain) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to the Bay Area, where on Wednesday night they will play host to the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

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.