Warriors blow out Nuggets, strengthen hold of West top spot
LOS ANGELES, USA – Returning from a two-game absence, Klay Thompson quickly made his presence felt for the Golden State Warriors.
Thompson pumped in 39 points to power the defending champion Warriors to a 122-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference on Friday, March 8 (Saturday, March 9, Manila time).
The decisive win gave the the Warriors a conference-best 45-20 record, a two-game cushion over the Nuggets’ 43-22 slate.
Thompson, who had sat out due to a sore right knee, fired 27 points in the first half and highlighted his hot shooting night with a 9-of-11 clip from three-point range.
"I let the game come to me," Thompson said. "I took two games off and it felt like eternity.
"It gets kind of sentimental knowing we have only so many games left in the season in this building and we want to give our fans a show.
"Everybody out there is a threat and that makes our team so dangerous."
Kevin Durant pumped in 26 points and dished out 6 assists for the Warriors, who bounced back from an embarrassing 128-95 loss to the Boston Celtics – their worst home-game defeat under fifth-year coach Steve Kerr.
Steph Curry added 17 points and DeMarcus Cousins also delivered an all-around game to finish with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 blocks and 3 steals.
"It is a long regular season and the guys are eager to get to the playoffs. At the end of the day, we've all got our eyes on that three-peat. Nothing can deter us from that," said Thompson.
Malik Beasley and Monte Morris scored 17 to pace the Nuggets, who dropped 4 of their last 5 games. – With a report from Agence France-Presse