Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in historic 142-111 win over Nuggets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in historic 142-111 win over Nuggets

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The Warriors are back on top of the Western Conference, thin air notwithstanding.

Looking like the champions they are, the Warriors sprinted into Pepsi Center in Denver on Tuesday and laid a 142-111 annihilation on the Nuggets.

It was the fifth consecutive win by the Warriors (30-14), the first time since early November they have had such a run of success.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant combined for 89 points on 65.3 shooting, Kevon Looney snagged a career-high 12 rebounds and Draymond Green posted a team-best plus-41 in his 31 minutes of work.

In taking their first home loss in more than two months, Denver (29-14) dropped behind the Warriors and into second place in the conference.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ most impressive game of the season:

So ... any questions?

From being on the blunt end of blowouts at home, to the mediocre defensive numbers, to the general team chemistry, there have been legitimate concerns about the Warriors this season.

Consider those concerns incinerated.

The Warriors opened this game with playoff intensity, and with such extraordinary offense that the defense barely mattered. They built a 10-point lead in less than four minutes and a 20-point lead early in the second quarter. They had 22 assists and two turnovers in the first half and finished with 38 and 10, respectively.

When the Warriors really want to show what they’re about, this is what they do. This was a reminder -- for themselves and the rest of the NBA -- of the damage they do when fully engaged.

3-Ball City

Denver entered the game with the best 3-point shot defense in the NBA, limiting opponents to 33.2-percent shooting from beyond the arc.

So when the Warriors drained 10 3-pointers in only 14 attempts in the first quarter, the Nuggets had to be shocked. They also had to have an inkling of what was in store.

[RELATED: Warriors set franchise records in first quarter vs. Nuggets]

By the time Draymond Green hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, it was abundantly clear the Nuggets would be buried under a pile of triples.

The 3-balls kept dropping and dropping at an absurdly efficient rate. Curry scored 31 points on 8-of-13 shooting from deep, Durant totaled 27 and was 5-of-7 from deep, while Thompson was 5-of-8 from beyond the arc in finishing with 31 points.

The Warriors finished 21-of-39 (53.8 percent) from deep.

Joke was on “The Joker"

Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic -- AKA The Joker -- leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. The 7-footer was coming off a game in which he scored 40 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded eight assists.

He’s in the MVP conversation.

The Warriors went after him early, made him defend and wore him out.

Jokic totaled 17 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three turnovers. He was minus-21 in 23 minutes.

What happened to his offense? The Warriors played him straight-up, mostly with Looney, but sent another player whenever he was in the paint. There was not one minute during which Jokic looked comfortable on offense.

When you contain -- practically silence -- the opponent’s best player, victory tends to be a given.

Lou Williams trolls Mistah FAB after Warriors' Game 5 loss to Clippers

Lou Williams trolls Mistah FAB after Warriors' Game 5 loss to Clippers

You just knew Lou Williams was going to let the Warriors hear it about this one.

After the Clippers stunned the Warriors in Game 5 of their first-round NBA playoff series in Oakland on Wednesday night, Williams had a gift for rapper and Dubs superfan Mistah FAB, who was sitting courtside.

Williams finished the game with a team-high 33 points and 10 assists in the 129-121 win over the Warriors.

[RELATED: Capela declares he wants Warriors]

Williams was cold-blooded during the game, and he was cold-blooded after it.

Now, instead of resting in the Bay Area for a few days, the Warriors have to get on a plane and fly back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Friday night.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-121 Game 5 loss vs. Clippers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-121 Game 5 loss vs. Clippers

OAKLAND -- Even as Steve Kerr spent three days talking about the difficulties the Warriors would face in trying to oust the Clippers from the playoffs, he could not have imagined what transpired Wednesday night.

This was Los Angeles performing surgery without anesthesia and the Warriors came away with a painful 129-121 loss in Game 5 of this first-round series.

The Warriors own a three-games-to-two series lead as the teams go back to Los Angeles for Game 6 Friday night at Staples Center.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

The defense rested

For a team on a quest to play into June, the Warriors in this game looked a lot like a bunch ready to go on vacation before May.

This was profoundly obvious on defense, where they were by turns sloppy, indifferent, inattentive and simply less determined than the Clippers were on offense. It was so bad at times you wondered if they’d watched any video.

Guard Lou Williams, under wraps in Games 3 and 4, scored 18 points in the first half and 33 for the game. Forward Danilo Gallinari, contained all series, scored 16 points in the first half and 26 for the game. Patrick Beverley, known mostly for his defense, totaled 17 points.

The Warriors last season amped up their defense in the playoffs. With a chance to put away the Clippers, they couldn’t seem to find the energy. Los Angeles shot 54.1 percent from the field.

Look no further to discern how the Warriors lost this one.

Pounded in the paint

The Clippers shot reasonably well from deep (13-of-34), but they didn’t have to rely on that because they had plenty of success attacking the paint.

LA piled up 54 points in the paint (the Warriors had 34), with hyperactive Montrezl Harrell (24 points, 11-of-14 from the field) continuing his ferocious work inside. Williams also torched the Warriors with his drives and floaters.

The Clippers dominated the glass for most of the night before ending with a 42-39 advantage, with Beverley -- a tenacious 6-foot-1 -- snagging a game-high 11 rebounds.

Don’t blame KD

If you’re looking for a bright spot, turn to Kevin Durant. He was mostly solid on defense, but nothing short of fantastic on offense.

Durant scored 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting, including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc and 12-of-12 from the line. Over the course of the game, he lit up JaMychal Green, Landry Shamet, Beverley and Gallinari.

For the heck of it, Durant also had six rebounds and six assists.

What he didn’t have was enough help.