Denver Nuggets

Steve Kerr praises Warriors' fight vs. Nuggets as tough season draws on

Steve Kerr praises Warriors' fight vs. Nuggets as tough season draws on

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steve Kerr started his postgame press conference with a unique statement Thursday evening.

Following a 134-131 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets, in which his team squandered a 19-point second-half lead, resulting in the Warriors' 10th straight loss. Amid the worst season under his watch, Kerr expressed optimism in a situation reserved for chaos.

"I thought our guys were great tonight," Kerr said. "They played really well together."

The Warriors were a cohesive unit during the first 24 minutes, holding the Nuggets to just 30 percent from the field while forcing 10 turnovers. By the end of the first half, Denver had shot just 15 of 49 from the field, with the Warriors showing signs of dominance along the way.

Nine minutes into the second quarter, Warriors forward Draymond Green picked up Nuggets guard Malik Beasley at half court, finishing the play blocking the guard at the rim to force a turnover. A minute later, Green blocked Monte Morris at the rim, momentarily preserving a 17-point lead.

While the start was a welcome sight, Kerr's words were earned by his team's heart down the stretch. When Denver used an 18-6 run to take a 111-108 lead in the fourth, the Warriors answered by scoring the next five points, including a 3-pointer from Eric Paschall to put the Warriors up two points with 10 seconds to go. When the Nuggets went up by seven in overtime, the Warriors responded with an 8-4 run in the final minute to earn their coach's praise.

"Fought back when Denver came at us in the second half with multiple runs," Kerr said. "We came back. Just couldn't quite get over the hump. Denver is a hell of a team and they deserve a lot of credit."

Golden State's latest loss comes at a time of peril for the Warriors.

With the loss, the Warriors earned their longest losing streak since 2002 - a season in which they finished 21-61. By the end of the evening, they had the NBA's worst record with 40 games to go. Amid the losses, the unit has found small improvements.

Damion Lee -- who signed a multi-year deal on Wednesday -- finished 21 points and six assists in 37 minutes. Over his last five games, he's averaging 13.6 points and five rebounds in 32 minutes.

As Lee continues to flourish, rookies Paschall and Jordan Poole seem to be finding roles of their own. After starting the season shooting just 26 percent from the field, Poole has made 41 percent of his 3-pointers over his last two games. Aside from his clutch shot Thursday, Paschall finished with 16 points, including a reverse baseline dunk in the fourth quarter to put the Warriors up.

"Both rookies have looked better of late,"  Kerr said. "It's good to see. It's a tough thing going through their rookie season. But I think they've both weathered some punches in their respective seasons and they're coming along nicely."

[RELATED: Chriss hopes to play with Dubs long term after reunion]

While Golden State's latest outing prompted praise from its coach, Kerr's biggest measure of success is winning. But for the moment, he'll applaud his team's latest step towards that goal.

"Proud of our guys' effort," Kerr said. "They continue to battle. I feel bad for them because they played well enough to win."

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 134-131 OT loss to Nuggets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 134-131 OT loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Since the calendar flipped to 2020, the Warriors (9-33) have been searching for any sign of positively in a dormant season. They didn't find it Thursday night, losing to the Denver Nuggets 134-131 in overtime at Chase Center. 

The loss marked Golden State's 10th straight, as they fell to 0-9 in overtime games over the last two seasons. The Warriors led the majority of the night, taking a 19-point lead in the second half against the Nuggets (28-12) before squandering it in the fourth quarter. 

Michael Porter Jr. scored 18 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 1:16 to go in regulation. A minute later, Nikola Jokic hit a game-tying hook shot to send the game into overtime, leading to Golden State's latest demise.

Here are the takeaways from a disappointing loss:

Early defense gives way to second-half collapse. 

Golden State entered the game against the Nuggets with one of the worst defensive units in the league, allowing opponents to shoot 47 percent. On Thursday, they held the Nuggets to just 22.7 percent in the first quarter and forced two turnovers. By the end of the first half, Denver made just 15 of 49 (30.6 percent) from the field. 

Along the way, the Warriors outscored Denver in the paint and off the bench, building a 19-point lead. Then the Nuggets woke up, outscoring the 89-69 in the second half and overtime, using a 16-6 run to cut the lead to two in the fourth quarter. Before Porter's fourth-quarter layup, the Nuggets had not led all game. 

It was yet another disappointing turn of events for a Warriors team looking for any signs of development. 

Damion Lee returns with a bang

Lee has been waiting most of his career for a chance to play under a guaranteed deal. On Thursday, he made the most of his new status, finishing with 21 points and six assists in 37 minutes. 

Lee's importance to Golden State is apparent. During his 45 two-way days, he started 13 games, averaging 12.8 points over his last six outings. Upon return, Warriors coach Steve Kerr immediately put him in the starting lineup. 

Based on his new multi-year deal, the Warriors would like Lee to be a long-term piece. The plan was made possible by Lee's hard work. After two ACL tears, countless G League stints, and two two-way deals, he's finally on the long-term stage he deserves. 

Russell struggles again

D'Angelo Russell seemed primed for a tear after his 36-point performance last week in Memphis. After a 6-for-19 performance Thursday evening, those plans seem to be on pause. 

The result didn't seem likely in the first quarter, when Russell scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers in seven minutes. However, he shot 4-of-15 over the final three quarters and overtime. The sequence followed a recent theme for Russell, in which hot starts give way to puzzling finishes. In Tuesday's blowout loss to Dallas, he finished 5-of-17 from the field after making four of his first seven shots. 

Russell has the ability to go on large scoring binges. But with that strength comes occasional off-nights. If Russell can curtail the latter, the Warriors can be dangerous as long as he's on the roster. 

Warriors vs. Nuggets live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

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Warriors vs. Nuggets live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Believe it or not, the Warriors a riding a nine-game losing streak (longest-active streak in the NBA) as they head into Wednesday night's matchup against the Nuggets. 

On the flip side, the Dubs had a day off so some well-needed rest could have them feeling ready to go. One can hope.

The Nuggets, however, look forward to taking on the Warriors who have been on the tail end of some bad luck. They will more than likely be without Jamal Murray who was questionable for Wednesday's game due to back soreness.

Plus, Denver will more than likely be without Paul Milsap and Bol Bol.

The game is essentially on who wants it more.

Here's how to watch Nuggets-Warriors at Chase Center:

When: Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. PT, pregame begins at 6:30 p.m.
TV channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live stream: MyTeams App

Live stream all your Warriors games and get the latest news and analysis on the MyTeams App.