Nuggets vs. Warriors: What to watch for

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Nuggets vs. Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Nuggets-Warriors coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area. Stick around after the final horn for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors are coming off their most lopsided loss of the season a 101-77 defeat to the Lakers in L.A. They struggled in just about every phase of the game, but none more than shooting. As a team the Warriors shot 33.7 percent from the field, with both their inside and outside games failing them.The Nuggets have rebounded from an 0-3 start to win three in a row, and theyre coming to Oracle Arena on Saturday coming off a 104-84 blowout win over Utah in Denver.Here are some things to watch for in Saturday nights game:Depth on depth: The Warriors depth is certainly improved this year with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry coming off their bench. But the Nuggets also have a solid bench, and they rely on it heavily.Andre Miller, Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee give the Nuggets plenty of weapons off the bench, and thats important on a night like Saturday when both teams are playing their second of back-to-back games.Find Faried: Kenneth Faried is a relentless rebounder and high-energy player and he had a career game against the Warriors a season ago.Faried had 27 points on 12-for-18 shooting and 17 rebounds in the Nuggets 123-84 victory over the Warriors last April. Faried, in his second year, might be a touch undersized for the power forward position, but his activity and effort mitigate any kind of size disadvantage.Warriors power forward David Lee is going to have to keep Faried off the offensive glass and occupy him fully at the offensive end.Curry vs. Felton: Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson are the long-term point guards for the Warriors and Nuggets, respectively. This offseason, the Warriors gave Curry four-year, 44 million contract, while the Nuggets gave Lawson a four-year, 48 million deal.BUCHER: Why'd they do it?
While Curry and Lawson are certainly different players, there is not much that separates them talent-wise. You could probably find just as many people who prefer Lawson over Curry as prefer Curry over Lawson.Last season Lawson averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists per game, while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor. Curry is certainly a better shooter than Lawson, but Lawson makes up that percentage-wise by getting to the bucket more.With Curry back at 100 percent after an ankle injury a year ago, this should be a good matchup to watch.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- There was plenty of tension and more than a few pulse-stopping moments, but the Warriors found a way to win their seventh consecutive game.

The Warriors’ 106-94 victory Sunday over the admirably recalcitrant Memphis Grizzlies was a work in persistence and overcome moments in which the worst of their work was on full display before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scored 31 points to lead the offense. Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 11 assists, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Matt Barnes finished with 10 as the Warriors evened the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-2.

The Warriors (59-14) fought off numerous Memphis rallies but turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Grizzlies to 13 points on 5-of-25 (20 percent) shooting over the final 12 minutes.

The Warriors offset 18 turnovers, giving the Grizzlies 16 point, by shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

Mike Conley scored 29 points to lead Memphis, which fell to 40-33.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

As good as the Splash Brothers were, and they were superb, it was Iguodala’s play at both ends that made a major difference.

Iguodala’s line: 20 points (7-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 32 minutes and was plus-9 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After the Grizzlies pulled into an 81-81 tie with 25.2 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to go up 96-86 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 4:57 remaining.

Memphis got no closer than nine in the final minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) was listed as out. C Deyonta Davis and F Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors travel Monday to Houston, where on Tuesday night they face the Rockets at Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.