The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a Western Conference showdown between Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.
14:00 (AEDT), Fri 15th Jan @ Pepsi Center, Denver
History: Played 184: Nuggets 98 V Warriors 86
Last meeting: March 3, 2020: Warriors 116 d Nuggets 100 at Oracle Arena
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors are both coming off a loss as they aim to keep pace with the NBA Western Conference’s front-runners.
The 5-6 Nuggets have won four of their last six, but they went down 122-116 to the depleted Nets two days ago. Nikola Jokic has been in MVP-worthy form, averaging 24.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 10.5 assists. Against the Nets he stuffed the stats sheet with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists and 7 steals.
Denver are top-five for points scored per game but rank 23rd for points allowed.
The 6-5 Warriors have also won four of their last six. But after accounting for the Clippers (115-105) and Raptors (106-105), they were humbled 104-95 by the Pacers two days ago.
Golden State’s fortunes tend to hinge on sharpshooter Steph Curry’s impact. The Warriors are 5-0 when he scores 30-plus points, 1-5 when he doesn’t. Draymond Green’s progress has been encouraging, however, finishing one rebound short of a triple-double against the Raptors and chalking up another 10 assists against the Pacers.
The Warriors have won 12 of their last 18 against the Nuggets, including their last two in Denver. Last season’s two games were split: Will Barton (31 pts) top-scored in the Nuggets’ 134-131 overtime win in January, while Andrew Wiggins (22 pts, 10 ast) led a 116-100 road upset in March.
Jokic is carrying this Nuggets team on his back, but they have some serious defensive issues to rectify. Meanwhile, they are an unusually poor 2-4 in Mile High City so far. Look for Curry to explode after a couple of quiet nights, with the Warriors providing ample value courtesy of a five-point start.
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Philadelphia 76ers V Miami Heat||Margin – 76ers 1-10 @ $2.97|
|Toronto Raptors V Charlotte Hornets||Handicap – Hornets +8.5 @ $1.90|
|San Antonio Spurs V Houston Rockets||Handicap – Rockets +7 @ $1.93|
|Portland Trail Blazers V Indiana Pacers||Handicap – Trail Blazers -3 @ $1.90|