The shorthanded Warriors rolled into the thin air of Denver Monday night and were vaporized by the no less compromised Nuggets.
After back-to-back emotional wins at Memphis and Oklahoma City, the Warriors showed little life at either end in a 132-110 loss at Pepsi Center.
The Warriors (46-9) were exploited by Denver’s hot shooting from deep, as the Nuggets drained 24 3-pointers, tying an NBA record. Their 79 points in the first half were the most scored in any half against the Warriors this season.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points to lead five Warriors scoring in double figures. Ian Clark totaled 18 points, Pat McCaw, starting in place of injured Klay Thompson, put in career-high 17points. Andre Iguodala tossed in 12 points and Stephen Curry added 11.
How bad was it for the Warriors? Draymond Green grabbed two rebounds in 24 minutes and Curry missed 14 of his 18 shots from the field.
Forward Juancho Hernangomez scored a game-high 27 points to lead Denver, which shot 54.5 percent from the field -- and 60 percent (24-of-40) beyond the arc.
Nobody showed better than McCaw, whose fourth quarter nearly brought the Warriors back from the abyss.
McCaw’s line: 17 points (7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 1-of-5 from deep, and 2-of-2 from the line), two assists and one rebound. He played a season-high 35 minutes, finishing minus-22.
After trailing by as much as 15 in the first quarter, the Warriors pulled within eight (42-34) with 11:19 left in the second quarter -- only to have the Nuggets respond with an 8-0 run for a 16-point lead (50-34) with 9:14 left in the half.
The Warriors, who trailed by as much as 27 before halftime, rallied to get within nine in the fourth quarter (109-100, 7:29 remaining) but could not close the gap.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (personal), C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain), G Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) were listed as out.
Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler (illness) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. G Emmanuel Mudiay (low back pain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness), F Kenneth Faried (R ankle sprain) and F Danilo Gallinari (L groin strain) were listed as out.
The Warriors return to the Bay Area, where on Wednesday night they will play host to the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.