Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 122-105 blowout win vs. Nuggets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 122-105 blowout win vs. Nuggets


OAKLAND — And 72 hours after the embarrassment came the redemption.

The Warriors opened with a vengeance and responded to their every lapse in a 122-105 whacking of the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at Oracle Arena.

The victory was a needed catharsis for the Warriors in the wake of a 33-point blowout loss – the worst home loss of the Steve Kerr era – to Boston on Tuesday.

It also allowed the Western Conference leading Warriors (45-20) to extend their lead over second-place Denver (43-22) to two games.

Here are three quick takeaways from a game in which the Warriors trailed for a total of 22 seconds:

Klay brings the heat

Having missed the last two games with soreness in his right knee, Klay Thompson was eager to go back to work. Who could have imagined he’d be this fantastic.

Thompson scored a game-high 39 points on 13-of-22 shooting, including 9-of-11 from beyond the arc. He played 35 minutes and finished a team-best plus-30.

Wasting no time, Thompson scored a team-high 10 points in the first quarter and came back in the second with 17. His 27-point first half, on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep, amounted to a foot on the necks of the Nuggets.

In 19 first-half minutes, Thompson also found time to record two steals and block the shot of Nikola Jokic, Denver’s 7-foot center.

When Thompson is this hot, it has a devastating effect on opponents.

Furious work of Hamptons 5

The Warriors owned a 50-46 lead when Draymond Green replaced Kevon Looney with 3:09 left in the first half. The Hamptons 5 – Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Thompson and Green – were called upon once again to close a half.

They vaporized the Nuggets, going on a 17-4 run in less than three minutes to give the Warriors a 67-50 halftime lead.

While Denver finished the half with five consecutive misses and two turnovers, the Warriors closed it out with 6-of-6 shooting from the field, including four triples.

The Nuggets made several brief runs, getting as close as eight (80-72, 3:43 left in the third quarter), but the separation created over the final three minutes of the half was enough to carry the Warriors to the finish.

The Hamptons 5 remains, when fully engaged, the Warriors’ best defensive squad.

Still too many gifts

Playing with desire throughout, the Warriors didn’t lack for effort. They did, however, make enough mistakes to prevent a sheer and utter blowout.

The Warriors committed 17 turnovers, giving Denver 29 points. Most of the miscues were of the live-ball variety and were the result of sloppy or poorly conceived passes.

Insofar as the Nuggets’ leading scorers, Malik Beasley and Monte Morris, each put in 17 points, it could be said that P. O. Turnovers was their leading scorer.

Curry led the giveaway foundation, committing six turnovers. Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins each committed three. Durant was the only starter without a turnover.

The Warriors, this time, didn’t pay a price for their errors. Well, other than not being able to empty their bench until 2:05 remained.

Draymond Green, Charles Barkley team up on new TV show 'The Arena'

Draymond Green, Charles Barkley team up on new TV show 'The Arena'

Draymond Green and Charles Barkley are about to be on the same team.

The Warriors forward and NBA Hall of Famer will be part of a panel on TNT's new show "The Arena," which will debut July 20.

Draymond and Barkley -- who have attacked each other publicly over the years -- will be joined by host Cari Champion and 2006 NBA Finals MVP, Dwyane Wade.

"The cinematic features will examine the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, systemic racial injustices and the changing landscape of society since the NBA postponed play through the point of view of players, NBA teams, their fans and communities," per a press release. "The five-part series will also include contributions from leading voices in sports and entertainment, such as renowned journalist Jemele Hill, rapper and activist Killer Mike, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Lesley Chilcott, among others."

Some very serious conversations will be had, so it'll be interesting to see if Draymond and Barkley address and/or laugh at their past beef.

[RELATED: Barkley fires back at Draymond by using boy band analogy]

It's possible they avoid it altogether and solely focus on the much more important topics at hand.

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[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Nick Wright claims LeBron James gets two rings for beating 2016 Warriors

Nick Wright claims LeBron James gets two rings for beating 2016 Warriors

Nick Wright will say anything to try to buttress his belief that LeBron James is the best basketball player of all time.

And the very opinionated TV personality went to the extreme Monday on his Fox Sports 1 morning show "First Things First."

"I'm making a proclamation today. Everyone always tries to say, 'Six rings, six rings -- LeBron can't be the greatest ever until he has six rings.' It's a facile argument but I'll engage in it for this moment," he said. "We all know LeBron officially-unofficially got credit for two rings when he came from 3-1 down and beat a 73-win (Warriors) team -- sent Draymond (Green) crying to his car to call Kevin Durant. So right now he's at four.

"Before the stoppage happened, the Lakers were playing their best ball of the season. They get thrown off course, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) is able to get healthy, other things happen that make it harder. Then they lose (Avery) Bradley, now they've lost (Rajon) Rondo.

"When they win the title this year, it counts as another two -- which means LeBron and (Michael) Jordan will both have six rings."

Yes, this actually happened.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Conventional wisdom says Wright was 100 percent kidding, and simply got on his soapbox for entertainment purposes. But with him, he probably just was 97 percent joking.

And since Wright mentioned Draymond, here is a friendly reminder: In the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron averaged 24.8 points, 8.3 assists and 5.8 turnovers the first four games. Then, everything changed when Draymond was suspended for Game 5. Over the final three games of the series, LeBron averaged 36.3 points, 9.7 assists and 2.7 turnovers.

[RELATED: Draymond reveals team he sees as favorite to win NBA title]

It also didn't help that Andrew Bogut missed Games 6 and 7, and that Harrison Barnes went 5-for-32 from the field over the final three games. But we digress. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the series and that's a scientific fact.

You want another fact? LeBron has won three championships and he will have four if the Los Angeles Lakers capture this season's title in Orlando.

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