Warriors Reaction

Warriors' Christmas Day clash vs. Nuggets kicks off brutal stretch

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors’ 126-106 win over the Trail Blazers on Saturday was their fifth victory in a row and matched their longest streak of the season.

The timing couldn’t be better.

Beginning with a Christmas Day game in Denver against the defending champion Nuggets, the Warriors are entering one of their toughest stretches of the season.

Golden State won the title the year before Denver, so it’ll be a matchup of the league’s past two champions.

The Warriors beat the Nuggets in the playoffs on their way to the 2021-22 title but were eliminated before getting a chance to do it again last season.

The Warriors haven’t had much luck lately at Ball Arena. They’ve lost three straight and five of six in the Mile High City. Golden State last won in Denver two seasons ago on March 10, 2022, on its way to its fourth NBA championship in eight years.

The Nuggets have been a completely different team at home as opposed to on the road. They’re 11-2 in Denver and just 10-8 on the road.

When the two teams played earlier this season in Denver, the Nuggets pulled out a 108-105 win. Stephen Curry had 23 points in that game but was a minus-10. Only two other Golden State players – Klay Thompson (15) and Andrew Wiggins (11) scored more than 10.

Draymond Green didn’t play in that game due to personal reasons. He won’t be there to play on Christmas, either, while he continues to serve his indefinite NBA suspension.

Regardless, Thompson is embracing the challenge of facing the Nuggets again.

“It’ll be a great time,” Thompson said after Saturday’s win. “They’re the defending champs and you know they play well at home. We’re on a nice win streak and we’d like this to continue, so something’s gotta give.

“I think we’ll give them a great game. We have the ability to come out with a win. It’ll be fun, though, to see where we’re at against the defending champs.”

The game in Denver kicks off a stretch of games against some of the NBA’s top teams. After playing the Nuggets (22-10), who have the second-best record in the West, the Warriors return home to face Miami (No. 5 in the East), Dallas (No. 6 in the West) and Orlando (No. 4 in the East) before taking on the Nuggets again.

Golden State’s schedule eases up a bit after that. For now, however, the Warriors are focused on trying to extend their winning ways and get a win against the Nuggets.

“Marquee games on Christmas, it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Stephen Curry said. “We’ve been in that environment before so (we) understand what it’s going to be like on the road. It’s going to be fun just to compete. That’s the next one on the schedule, too, so you kind of understand how they play. Lock in on what we need to do, try to go get a win.”

The Warriors’ streak started in Brooklyn against the Nets but it was a 132-126 win over the Celtics in double overtime that coach Steve Kerr hoped would provide his team with a much-needed lift for the rest of the season.

So far, so good.

After beating Portland, Kerr said the vibe in the Warriors’ locker room was a good one.

Beating the Nuggets on Christmas definitely would extend the feel-good atmosphere in Dub Nation.

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