The Denver Nuggets get another opportunity to do one of the many things they do well — exact a measure of revenge — when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
The game is a rematch of a 116-107 Golden State home win on April 12, a game in which the Nuggets lost star guard Jamal Murray for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
The Warriors (29-30) know the feeling all too well. They saw All-Star Klay Thompson go down with the same injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, a setback that also occurred on Golden State’s home floor, only that time in Oakland.
Thompson, who tore his Achilles this past offseason while rehabbing his knee issue, has not played since.
The Nuggets (38-20) might not have Murray anymore, but they do have Aaron Gordon, who was imported from Orlando at the trade deadline. Denver has gone 11-2 since his first game as a Nugget on March 28.
The Nuggets also have a revenge motivation after watching Stephen Curry break out for 53 points in their recent meeting.
The last time the clubs met, it was Golden State that had the revenge motivation. Murray had 17 points when the Nuggets beat the Warriors 114-104 at home in January.
Gordon has not been a big scorer for the Nuggets, averaging just 10.8 points per game since the trade.
“We have high, high aspirations — championship aspirations,” Gordon declared in the wake of Murray’s injury. “We still feel like we have enough, especially with ‘Joker’ man (Nikola Jokic). When you’ve got that guy on the floor, you have a chance to win every single night.”
Gordon’s visit to San Francisco coincides with the first game this season at which the Warriors will allow fans at their new arena. Gordon was one of the most decorated high school players in San Francisco Bay Area history as a two-time California Mr. Basketball at Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose.
He has never experienced a happy homecoming in his first six NBA returns, the first five of which were for the Orlando Magic. In six straight losses at Golden State, Gordon has averaged just 9.3 points, including contributing just nine to the Denver loss earlier this month.
The game matches Most Valuable Player candidate Jokic against fast-charging challenger Curry.
Jokic had 25 points, including difference-making free throws down the stretch, in Denver’s 106-105 win at Portland on Wednesday. He failed to record a double-double in the game, just the seventh time in 58 games that’s happened this season.
His 51 double-doubles lead the NBA.
Meanwhile, Curry saw his 11-game run of 30-point games come to an end in a 7-for-25, 18-point effort in the Warriors’ 118-114 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
“It was going to end at some point,” Curry noted with a shrug afterward. “Now you got to start another one.”
The 33-year-old had the league lead in scoring at 31.1 points per game entering Thursday, with the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal at 31.0.
–Field Level Media
Published: 2021-04-22 22:48:32
Tags: #Nuggets #exact #revenge #visit #Warriors