The Nuggets stunned the Warriors in Denver on Wednesday, winning 112-110, to hand Golden State its third loss of the season.
The Warriors were playing without Draymond Green but, as usual, got an unreal performance from Steph Curry, who finished with 38 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals. Golden State, which had won seven straight, actually trailed by 10 points entering the fourth quarter but made a game of it in the final seconds.
“They’re the world champions for a reason, and (Curry is) the MVP for a reason,” Denver forward Will Barton said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They’re not going to quit. They’re going to make it a game and hit you with so many runs, so many blows, to see if you’re going to give in. That’s the reason why they’re so good. I’m just proud of my team and my squad withstanding all their punches and pulling out the win at the end.”
Denver pushed Golden State to the brink in Oakland on Jan. 2, ultimately losing 111-108 in overtime. This time, the Nuggets wouldn’t be denied. They struggled from the perimeter, going just 5-off-22 (22.7) from three-point range, but couldn’t miss from the foul line, shooting 33-of-37 (89.2 percent).
Four Nuggets scored at least 18 points, including Danilo Gallinari, who had a team-high 28, and Barton, who had 21 off the bench.
Barton, 25, is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season – all career-highs.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity my whole NBA career,” Barton said. “I knew it would happen. Now that it’s here, I just got to take full advantage of it. I just want to do anything I can to make wining plays for this team and get us back in the playoffs.”
Denver (15-24), which has won three of four, is in the midst of an eight-game home stand. The Nuggets host Miami (22-17) on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
“We just got to keep this thing up,” Barton said. “We got to keep it up and protect our home court and we’ll be fine.”