NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, April 10th (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (34-44) at Golden State Warriors (48-29), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors are getting closer to a postseason berth and will conclude a three-game homestand Thursday versus the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena.
The magic number for the Warriors to clinch a playoff spot is three, as they sit sixth in the Western Conference -- two games behind Portland, one ahead of Dallas and 1 1/2 in front of Phoenix with five to play.
Because of tiebreakers, a win over the Nuggets would clinch a playoff spot.
Golden State has defeated Sacramento and Utah to start the homestand and blasted the Jazz by a 130-102 score on Sunday behind 33 points from Klay Thompson and 31 out of Stephen Curry. Curry also handed out 16 assists and both Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green scored 11 points. Andre Bogut had 11 rebounds for the Warriors, winners in seven of their last 10 games.
The Warriors are 17-7 since the All-Star break and sit a season-high 19 games over .500. The last time they were 20 games above the .500 mark was back in 1991-92 at 55-27. Golden State hasn't won 49 games in a season since posting 50 victories in 1993-94.
"We talked about finishing the season the right way," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "These guys deserve a lot of credit for how focused they are. The way they came out tonight and collectively do the job was awesome."
Jackson's squad is 26-13 at home and will play three of the next four games on the road to close out the regular season.
Denver is playing out the string and looks to build on a recent win over the Houston Rockets. In Wednesday's 123-116 victory, Randy Foye had a big night with 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting and made 6-of-10 3-pointers. Foye also dished out 15 assists.
Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov scored 23 and 22 points, respectively, for the Nuggets, who shot 50 percent from the floor and forced 15 turnovers. The Nuggets, who stormed out to a 30-18 lead after the first quarter, also bounced back from a 130-125 overtime loss at Houston on Sunday.
"The way they got us off to a good start in the beginning of the game was the key to the way the game ended up going," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said of Foye, Faried and Mozgov fueling the Nuggets early on.
The Nuggets scored 30-plus points in three of the four quarters and halted a two-game slide. They had dropped six of seven games prior to the recent win.
Denver still has Utah, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Golden State again on the remaining schedule. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson has missed two straight games with a knee sprain and is day-to-day. Lawson leads the Nuggets in scoring (17.6 ppg), assists (8.8) and steals (1.6).
Golden State and Denver have split two meetings this season with each team holding serve as the visitor. The two clubs have split the past 18 encounters in central California.
04/10 13:32:22 ET