OAKLAND -- With Kevin Durant on the sideline, the Warriors are riding Stephen Curry and he has delivered. That same formula may be in effect Monday night, when they face the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (32-8) have won four straight since Curry, who missed 11 games, returned on Dec. 30. Curry remains on the injury list, along with fellow starter Draymond Green, but both are likely to play. Durant, though, could miss his third consecutive game.
The Nuggets (21-18) should have the full attention of the Warriors, as they held the defending champs to a season-low 81 points last month at Oracle Arena. By winning that game, Denver is the only team already assured of beating the Warriors at least once in each of Steve Kerr’s first four seasons as coach.
Warriors by 10.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Jamal Murray: Murray has spent the season solidifying his status as Denver’s starting point guard. The second-year player is only 20 but plays with the confidence of a vet. He played well in beating the Warriors last month, but he didn’t have to contend with Curry, who was on the injured list. The two-time MVP is back and he has been blistering everyone in his path.
Warriors: G Omri Casspi (hip contusion), G Stephen Curry (L knee soreness), F Draymond Green (R knee soreness), F Andre Iguodala (L knee and hip soreness) and G Shaun Livingston (hip tightness) are available to play. F Kevin Durant (R calf strain) is OUT. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Nuggets: F Paul Millsap (L wrist ligament surgery) is listed as out.
Warriors: 8-2. Nuggets: 5-5.
Bill Kennedy (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Derek Richardson
The teams split the first two of four meetings this season, with the Warriors taking a 127-108 win on Nov. 4 at Denver and the Nuggets posting a 96-81 win on Dec. 23 in Oakland. The Warriors won two of three last season and have won nine of the last 13 overall.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE GLASS WARS: The Nuggets have been and continue to be one of the league’s best offensive rebounding teams and have used that to hurt the Warriors in the past. They lead the NBA in second-chance points (14.8 per game) and piled up 18 in their last trip to Oakland. If the Warriors don’t block out, they’ll pay.
THE SHOOTING GUARDS: Klay Thompson hasn’t had many awful games this season, but he has struggled against Denver, scoring 15 points in each game, shooting 36.4, including 25.0 percent from deep. Denver’s big guard, Gary Harris, has done a solid job using physicality to deny Thompson. Can this be reversed?
JAVALE ETC.: The rotation of big men is fluid, with only Zaza Pachulia and David West getting stable minutes. What’s left goes to Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney and JaVale McGee -- in that order. McGee’s DNP-CD count is at nine, with five coming in the last four weeks. He could he see time against his former team as the Warriors consider trade options.