CM – Warriors finish furious rally 24 points behind, losing to Nuggets in the final seconds

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After playing what was arguably the worst first half of the season at the Chase Center on Tuesday, the Warriors went into the dressing room star striker Draymond, 24 points behind at halftime and concerns about how they would go the rest of a difficult stretch without tackling Green.

The Warriors couldn’t address all of those concerns despite a furious comeback in the second half against the Nuggets, but they rode a stellar fourth quarter from Stephen Curry to tie the game in the last minute before they hit 89:86 lost.

Rookie Jonathan Kuminga marginally challenged Nuggets center Nikola Jokić with a potential game-tying field goal attempt less than five seconds back, but Jokić got away with a block to keep Denver’s win.

« I love when (Kuminga) hits the rim because he’s one of the best athletes in the league but probably won’t get that call at this stage in his career, » said head coach Steve Kerr.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Jonathan Kuminga # 00 of the Golden State Warriors grabs a rebound from JaMychal Green # 0 of Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday. December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)

After a foul and a free throw from Nuggets security guard Facundo Campazzo, wing veteran Andre Iguodala missed another potential game goal on Summer.

Golden State (27: 7) kept Denver with an impressive defensive performance at just 29 points in the second half, but it turned out to be a terrible first half at both ends and a brutal 16-on-31 advance at the free throw line proved to be too costly the Warriors’ third home defeat of the season.

« We missed 15 free throws, I missed five, that will bother me all night, » said striker Juan Toscano-Anderson, who started for Green.

Although Green – who entered health and safety protocols on Sunday – never stepped on the pitch, Tuesday’s match with Denver could serve as a case study proving his worth to the Warriors.

A warriors offensive that relies on Green to create overt looks and a warriors defense that often calls on Green to defend an opponent’s best player while also controlling the color seemed early on from one mediocre Denver team who entered the game on Tuesday with a 16-16 record.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Andrew Wiggins # 22 of the Golden State Warriors loses control of the ball as he is guarded by Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic # 15 in the third quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif will. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. He was fouled in-game by Davon Reed of Denver Nuggets. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) « He’s one of the best players in the league, » said Kerr. “But Denver is missing half of its team with injuries and everything else, so that’s no excuse. The whole league lacks people. We just need to improve on our offensive execution while Draymond is out. Obviously we let so much of our stuff run through him.  »
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Green is not a mass scorer, but his absence clearly deprived the Warriors of the offensive rhythm against the Nuggets as the team appeared out of sync while Curry could not produce open shots. Curry showed his worst performance against Denver in the first half of the season, scoring just two points at 1 of 6 off the field while making four ball losses, including three in the first three minutes of play.

« Of course things are a little different without Draymond. We know how much he does defensively, but offensively he is a great playmaker and knows how to be in the right place and get the right reading, » said Curry.

The offensive battle was on full display in the final moments of the first half, when several Warriors stood motionless as Curry dribbled the clock before launching a controversial three-point attempt.

« We didn’t make a lot of strategic adjustments, » said Kerr. “Our gap wasn’t good in the first half, but sales were a real problem. We weren’t locked in, we weren’t focused and we weren’t playing with an advantage and they were the aggressors from the start.  »
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Jonathan Kuminga # 00 of the Golden State Warriors is fouled as he played on the doubles team of Denver Nuggets’ Bones Hyland # 3 and Davon Reed in the second quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco # 99 is fouled, Calif., On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)

Prior to the game, Kerr said rookie Kuminga could play a vital role in making up for Green’s absence, and while Kuminga looked promising during Tuesday’s game, he also became a liability at the free-throw line. The 19-year-old lottery winner held his own on the offensive, showing the much-needed aggression headed for the basket, but it didn’t pay off as he only tried 3 out of 10 free-throw attempts.

« He’s done a lot of really good things, » said Kerr. “He was active defensively. He attacked the rim. 10 three throws, obviously fought off the line, but that’s fine, he’ll find out.  »

Curry entered the game on Tuesday with 2,999 3-point field goals but didn’t make it to 3rd place until he started the Warriors’ final attempt in the third quarter. The shot allowed Curry to hit his NBA record and career best of 157 games with at least a three, but the Warriors still opened the fourth quarter 13 points behind.

A spate of Curry, who scored 16 of his 23 points high on his team in the fourth quarter, helped the Warriors fill the void, but Denver went with a win largely thanks to a 22-point and 18 -Rebound performance by Jokić.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Stephen Curry # 30 of the Golden State Warriors makes his 3,000, California, on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Denver Nuggets ‘Nikola Jokic # 15 holds the ball away as it is on the doubles team of Golden State Warriors’ Otto Porter Jr. # 32 and Gary Payton II # 0 in the second quarter of their NBA game Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Steve Kerr, head coach for the Golden State Warriors, denies a call with a referee at third quarter of their NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry # 30 fouls Facundo Campazzo # 7 of Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Juan Toscano-Anderson # 95 of the Golden State Warriors shoots past Denver Nuggets past Facundo Campazzo # 7 in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden Andrew Wiggins # 22 of the State Warriors drives to the tire while playing in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021 by Jeff Green # 32 is guarded by Denver Nuggets. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Kevon Looney # 5 of the Golden State Warriors dunks in the first quarter of their NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Stephen Curry # 30 of the Golden State Warriors turns 3,000. 3-point basket in the third quarter of their NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. DECEMBER: Golden State Warriors # 5 Kevon Looney passes by when he is guarded by Denver Nuggets’ Jeff Green # 32 in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden State Warriors’ Gary Payton II # 0 pushes Juan Toscano-Anderson # 95 to the foul line after falling from. The Austin Rivers # 25 was fouled by Denver Nuggets in the second quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden State Warriors ‘Gary Payton II # 0 goes to the basket as he played for the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic # 15 and Bones Hyland doubles in the third quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif # 3 working together. , on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden State Wa rriors’ Jordan Poole, center, sits with Jonathan Kuminga, left, # 00, and Nemanja Bjelica , right, # 8 on the bench in the third quarter of their NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Golden State Warriors ‘Gary Payton II # 0 and Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic # 15 battle for a rebound in the fourth Quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Stephen Curry # 30. of the Golden State Warriors is on the court after being fouled in the third quarter of their NBA game against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Juan Toscano-Anderson # 95 of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by Jeff Green # 32 of Denver Nuggets in the third quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 28: Otto Porter Jr. of the Golden State Warriors # 32 congratulates Jeff Green # 32 of Denver Nuggets following NBA victory for Nuggets 89-86 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. On Tuesday, December 28, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)

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