Warriors Analysis

What we learned as Jokic-led Nuggets spoil Warriors' Christmas

NBC Universal, Inc. After another less-than-stellar Christmas Day performance by Steph Curry against the Denver Nuggets, “Warriors Postgame Live,” discusses what went wrong for the veteran on the night.


Stephen Curry doesn't have a good history of playing well on Christmas Day, and that trend continued Monday in Denver, as the Warriors and their star came up short against the Nuggets, losing 120-114 in a game that ended Golden State’s five-game winning streak.

Curry scored 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, made just 3 of 13 3-point attempts and finished a team-low minus-26 in the loss to the defending NBA champions. The two-time league MVP fell to 4-6 on Christmas Day games.

Curry wasn’t the only Warrior who struggled on the offensive end, though.

Klay Thompson, who had been one of Golden State's hottest shooters in recent games, was limited to nine points, all coming on 3-pointers. He was just 3-of-12 shooting and had a 3-point attempt blocked by Michael Porter Jr.

The biggest difference came at the free-throw line, where Nuggets center Nikola Jokic made all of his career-high 18 attempts, leading a Denver team that had 32 attempts from the stripe, as opposed to Golden State's 23. Jamal Murray led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, with five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Nuggets (22-10).

Here are three takeaways as the Warriors (15-15), who missed 10 of their first 15 shots, again lost at Ball Arena, where they haven't won since March 10, 2022.

Steph's struggles

Curry exemplified Golden State’s shooting woes early, as he was held scoreless in the first quarter for just the second time this season. He missed his first four shots, and didn’t score until he sunk a free-throw attempt following a technical on Jokic in the second quarter.

Curry came back and played better in the second half, including a no-look lob pass to Trayce Jackson-Davis for a dunk that closed the Nuggets' lead to 78-75.

Curry later made a deep 3-pointer but missed a clutch shot from beyond the arc with fewer than 90 seconds left.

Podziemski keeps on chugging

Brandin Podziemski, whose play led Kerr to put him in the Warriors' starting lineup over Wiggins, has proven to be a steady defender, but he had problems containing Porter, who scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds.

The rookie guard didn’t let that affect his all-around game, however.

Two days after he fell three assists shy of his first triple-double, Podziemski again put up big numbers and made a major impact. He made three 3-pointers as part of his 13 total points, grabbed four of his nine rebounds on the offensive glass, and stayed very active on both ends with six assists and five steals.

The best thing about Podziemski is that he shows the confidence of a seasoned veteran and constantly moves around, staying active on offense and being persistent and pesky on defense -- the perfect combination for Kerr and Co.

Dubs contain but can't stop Joker

It was a bittersweet game of sorts when it came to the Warriors defending Jokic.

The Warriors, primarily Kevon Looney, did a good job on the Nuggets' big man, limiting him to 4-of-12 shooting, but they couldn't keep him off the line, and that’s where he did his most damage. Jackson-Davis was in foul trouble for most of the game, which limited his playing time to just 15 minutes and forced Looney to the bulk of the work on Jokic.

Rarely is Jokic completely shut down, and he finished this game with 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, despite the Warriors' defensive work.

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