Denver Nuggets (38-20 28-30 ATS) at Golden State Warriors (29-30 28-31 ATS)
The hot Denver Nuggets head to the City by the Bay to take on the Golden State Warriors, who are fighting just to make the play in games for the post-season.
The Nuggets have won four in a row and eight of their last 10 games and they are in the fourth spot in the Western Conference. They have continued to win even though they lost second-leading scorer Jamaal Murry (21.2 ppg) for the season due to a knee injury.
After winning four in a row the Warriors have dropped two of their last three games. In the last game MVP candidate Steph Curry, who leads the NBA averaging 31.4 ppg, had his streak of 11 straight games scoring at least 30 points snapped.
Golden State’s playoff hopes took a big blow recently with rookie James Wiseman (11.5 ppg 5.8 rpg) also lost for the season with a knee injury.
The Nuggets are the fourth highest scoring team in the league and their defense has been pretty solid as well. On the other side of the coin the Warriors rank in the middle of the pack in terms of ppg and only rank 21st in the league giving up an average of 113 ppg.
These teams have split the two games facing each other this season with each winning at home. Denver’s last loss before their current four-game win streak was on the road falling to the Warriors 116-107.
Jokic Comes Up Big
Nikola Jokic (26.4 ppg 11.1 rpg 8.8 assists per game) is also an MVP candidate and he came up big in the Nuggets last game where they beat the Portland Blazers 106-105 on the road. He went for 25 points with nine rebounds and five assists and hit three key free throws down the stretch.
Every starter for the Nuggets scored at least 12 points in the win over Portland.
Jokic had 47 points in the game before the win over Portland and that game saw his streak of double-doubles end at six games.
Michael Porter Jr. (17.7 ppg 7.7 rpg) has stepped up his game as of late averaging 21.6 ppg over his last five games. Will Barton (12.9 ppg) has also stepped up totaling 42 points in his last two games.
The Nuggets will miss Murray but they are still a balanced squad that has five players averaging in double figures.
Now is the time for Denver to make a push up the Western Conference standings, as after this game they have four in a row at home facing teams that are below them in the conference.
On the season the Nuggets are 18-10 on the road.
Steph Finally Goes Cold
After scoring at least 30 points in 11 straight games Steph Curry finally went cold in the last game, which was a 118-114 road loss to the Washington Wizards. He only had 18 points on 7-25 shooting and also missed 12 of his 14 3-pointers.
Andrew Wiggins (18.1 ppg) also was cold in the loss to Washington with 14 points on 5-20 shooting and missing all seven of his 3-pointers. Kelly Oubre Jr. (15.2 ppg) bounced back in the last game scoring 24 points after only going for nine points in his previous game.
Wiggins and Curry need to bounce back in this game and they simply need to shoot the rock better. In the Washington loss the Warriors only shot 39.6% from the floor while a few games back in the home win over Denver they shot 48.1%. In that game Wiggins and Curry each shot the rock well and Curry was huge going for 53 points and hitting 10 of 18 3-pointers.
This season the Warriors are 17-10 at home.
The Nuggets are hot right now and they will avenge their last loss, which was to the Warriors in their house. Curry will bounce back but Denver will come up with a scheme where he will not go for 53 points again. The balanced Nuggets are simply a better team with more scoring options and they will extend their win streak to five games with a W in this one, where they will also cover the spread.