Warriors

Warriors vs. Nuggets watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

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AP

Warriors vs. Nuggets watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the season, the Warriors hoped to defy expectations in a transitional year. Now, they're hoping to just get an elusive win. 

Riding a nine-game losing streak, Golden State will welcome the Denver Nuggets to Chase Center for the first time in the first matchup of the season between the two teams.  

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 2:00, with tipoff scheduled for 3:10.

While the Nuggets will be without three key pieces, star big man Nikola Jokic has put up MVP-caliber numbers as Denver enters the matchup winning five of their last six games.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors-Nuggets online]

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

G Glenn Robinson III
F Draymond Green
C Omari Spellman
G Damion Lee
G D'Angelo Russell

Nuggets

F Torrey Craig
F Jerami Grant
C Nikola Jokić
G Will Barton III
G Monte Morris

INJURY REPORT 

Warriors:  Stephen Curry (left-hand fracture), Kevon Looney (left abdominal soreness), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation), Ky Bowman (NBA two-way), Jacob Evans (broken nose/concussion), Kevon Looney (Left Abdominal Soreness) are out.

Nuggets: Bol Bol (left foot injury management), Paul Milsap (left knee contusion/sprain), Gary Harris (right adductor strain), Jamal Murray (ankle sprain) are out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Former two-way guard Damion Lee is expected to start after signing a multi-year deal with the team Wednesday. Marquese Chriss will also suit up after signing a two-way deal after a brief sabbatical after getting waived last week. 

Omari Spellman is averaging 13.7 points over his last seven games, while Alec Burks is scoring nearly 16 points per game in his last six appearances. D'Angelo Russell struggled in his second game back from injury, making just 5 of 17 from the field in Tuesday's loss to Dallas. With Jordan Poole's recent scoring stretch, two-way guard Ky Bowman will remain in the G-League for the time being. 
 
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic averaged 29.8 points, 10.3 rebounds while shooting 59.2 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent from 3-point range last week. Over the stretch, the Nuggets won three of four games. The Nuggets are among the most clutch teams in the league, posting a 7-4 record in games decided by four points or less. 

Rookie guard Michael Porter Jr. has shown signs of growth. In Wednesday's win, he finished with 19 points, adding eight rebounds in 27 minutes. Porter has six games of 10 or more points this season. 

Under coach Mike Malone, Denver once again has a top-15 defense, holding opponents to just 32.6 percent from beyond the arc, allowing a third-best 104.9 points per game.

Officials: Scott Foster (#48), Kevin Cutler (#34), Justin Van Duyne (#64)

Steve Kerr's frustrations boil over after Warriors' loss to Lakers

Steve Kerr's frustrations boil over after Warriors' loss to Lakers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anything that needed to be known about the Warriors' 116-86 blowout loss to the Lakers on Thursday evening could be gathered by the end of Steve Kerr's postgame press conference. 

Usually a candid speaker, the coach had pointed responses for any and all questions following the Warriors' eighth straight loss. 

"It's not fun," Kerr deadpanned when asked how he's dealing with the season.

A question about his battered roster elicited a slightly extended response. 

"We have a high degree of hobbledness," Kerr quipped. 

Kerr's frustration comes with merit. As of Thursday, the Warriors have lost more games this season than his first three seasons combined. While injuries to Klay Thompson and Steph Curry provide valid excuses for the lost season, his team's effort in its latest defeat brought the coach to a new low.  

"We understand where we are record-wise," Kerr said. "But we still have a standard that we need to play to and we didn't do that." 

Kerr's ire began with 5:45 left in the first half, when forward Draymond Green was ejected after earning his second technical foul of the game, putting him two away from an automatic suspension. It was compounded in the third quarter when the Warriors were outscored 40-17. Along the way, the Warriors accumulated 27 turnovers, prompting Kerr to reach his breaking point. 

"Tonight was a step backward in the second half," Kerr admitted. "I was very disappointed with all of the turnovers. We just let things slip away from us." 

Kerr's disappointment comes as the organization is in transition. Injuries to Thompson and Curry all but erased any aspirations of playing in the postseason. Still, Golden State has been praised by opponents for its consistent effort. Last month, they forced overtime against the Denver Nuggets, who own the second-best record in the Western Conference. Three weeks before that, the Warriors handily beat the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day. None of the qualities from those wins appeared Thursday evening, much to Kerr's chagrin. 

"For the most part, this year has gone well in terms of our level of competition and energy," Kerr said. "But that second half was not up to our standards." 

Thursday's loss also coincides with the Warriors' roster flux. Of the 14 players on the team's opening day roster, just eight suited up against the Lakers. Following Thursday's shootaround, Mychal Mulder signed a 10-day contract as the team walked off the floor. Minutes prior to tip-off, the team announced forward Andrew Wiggins would not play because of back spasms. Nonetheless, Kerr wouldn't use the ever-changing roster as an excuse for the losses.

"I think you can probably attribute the lack of continuity to that," Kerr said. "We're putting some lineups that haven't been together all year. Having said that, a lot of careless one-handed passing, cross-court, right into the defender's arms. A lot of plays that just had nothing to do with continuity and everything to do with fundamentals."

[RELATED: A night full of horrors]

Just before walking out of his presser, Kerr was asked how he was dealing pile-up of losses. More specifically, how his sanity has been tested. Following a laugh, Kerr used levity to uncover his frustrations amid the toughest season of his tenure. 

"That's a loaded question," Kerr said. "We're dealing with it, but as I told you guys before, you start racking up the losses and it gets extremely frustrating, you need to win a game, we need to win a game once in a while just to feel better about things and right now we're in a bad stretch so it's tough."

Warriors experience full night of horrors in lopsided loss to Lakers

Warriors experience full night of horrors in lopsided loss to Lakers

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was two hours before tipoff against the Los Angeles Lakers, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s temperature started to rise as he spit out the ugly truth about this season.

“Yeah, but you gotta win once in a while,” the Kerr said. “It sounds like I’m making a joke, but it’s really the truth. What I’ve found over the course of this year is we absolutely feel satisfaction from watching young players grow, working with them.

“But you gotta win one (game). You get to five, six, seven (losses) in a row and all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘C’mon.’ It’s miserable losing. You need to win one to keep things going, to keep things fresh, to let everybody breathe and feel good about things.

“We’re at that stage right now. It’s been seven in a row. We need to win.”

Fewer than three hours later, Draymond Green, returning to the lineup after a two-game absence, got himself ejected and strolled into the locker room, thereby sparing himself the maddening tedium to come.

An hour after that, late in an atrocious fourth quarter, the Lakers were running the Warriors off the floor and the Chase Center crowd was roaring its approval.

You read that right.

Ten minutes after that, a very audible "M-V-P" chant echoed through the building as Lakers reserve Alex Caruso, a cult figure of sorts, was standing at the line to shoot free throws.

Finally, about 15 minutes later, after a 34-point second half, the Warriors were trudging into the ultra-comfortable locker room lugging their eighth consecutive loss, routed 116-86 by a Lakers team without a single minute from LeBron James.

Many were the scenes the Warriors never wanted to see, and many were the sounds they never wanted to hear.

“Tonight was a step backward in the second half,” Kerr said in his post-game news conference. “I was very disappointed with all of the turnovers. We just let things slip away from us. For the most part this year, things have gone well in terms of our level of competition, focus and energy. The second half was not up to our standards. We understand where we are record-wise (12-47), but we still have a standard that we have to play to. We did not do that in the second half.”

Kerr barely was able to submerge his displeasure with Draymond’s tantrum that resulted in back-to-back technical fouls, 11 seconds apart from two different officials, with 5:45 remaining in the first half. The Warriors were trailing 42-37 and looking capable of making a game of it.

They were outscored 74-49 over the final 30 minutes.

“We needed him in the second half. We missed him out there,” Kerr said of Green.

“It was huge,” Damion Lee said of the ejection. “His presence is always felt when he is on the court and on the bench.”

This was the eighth consecutive home loss for the Warriors, who went 0-for-6 at Chase Center for the month of February. It will be March 1 when they return to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday and there is no certainty that Steph Curry, as much as he’d like to, will be back on the court.

That would give the Warriors a boost and, naturally, also transport CEO Joe Lacob from this night, the likes of which he never imagined he would experience at Chase Center.

For as agonizing as it was to gulp down this massive defeat -- and Lacob despises losing at any endeavor -- it surely was worse to have the Lakers and their fans take over the building.

It’s one thing to have your tickets devalued to the point where those holding them will deal them to fans of a rival, quite another to have that rival and their fans throw a wallop party at your expense.

[RELATED: Steph's nerve issue could take a year to heal, trainer says]

From the season-high 27 turnovers, to the painful ejection, to the unwatchable second half, to the M-V-P chants that must have felt like a punch to the gut, neither Lacob nor anyone affiliated with the Warriors had anything to praise.

They want to forget this game and pray to the heavens they never have another one like it.