With the Playoffs illuminating the NBA landscape in this time of the year, the heat in the air is going off the roof with the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have not yet got their star players in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr to return to the court and it doesn’t seem like they would be coming back. Going against a healthy Warriors team without two of your three best players is almost impossible to win.
Nevertheless, the Nuggets went with a starting lineup of Monte Morris, Will Barton, Jeff Green, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic. The Warriors started with Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney.
From the opening tip itself, Nikola Jokic knew he had to carry his team, so he went to wrok immediately scoring most of the Nuggets’ points as well as assisting his teammates. On the other side, Klay Thompson was getting into gear as he went 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
In the 2nd quarter, Jordan Poole took over as he was attacking the rim, shooting from beyond the arc, hitting mid range shots, drawing fouls. The level at which Poole was playing did not make it seem like it was his first Playoff game. Hence, the Warriors took the 1st half with 58-47.
Jokic started the 3rd quarter strong and the Nuggets defense was starting to catch up. But the Warriors changed strategies and put Draymond Green on Jokic. Gree made Jokic work for every shot which tired the Serbian big man.
With no plays being made properly, the Nuggets resorted on going one on one but that led to their downfall rapidly. The Warriors kept attacking relentlessly with good quality shots and with extremely good ball movement, they took the game.
Jokic was the star of the Nuggets putting up a double-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Will Barton scored most of his points in garbage time and hence had 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Monte Morris and Bones Hyland were the only other Nuggets with double digit scoring with 10 points.
Jordan Poole was absolutely sensational with 30 points leading the Warriors. Klay Thompson complemented him with 19 points of his own. Andrew Wiggins had a near double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Draymond Green showed up big with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 blocks. To everyone’s surprise Stephen Curry came off the bench and scored 16 points. Looks like his foot hasn’t healed yet.
The Golden State Warriors took Game 1 of the 1st round of Playoffs with a scoreline of 123-107. The Warriors have shown their capability in the 1st match itself and the Nuggets have to restrategize to even stand on the same level as they are. With how things have shaped up in the Game 1, the Warriors are going for the sweep.