What we learned in Warriors' bounce-back win vs. Nuggets


SAN FRANCISCO -- In their first home game with fans in attendance in 409 days, the Warriors gave Dub Nation exactly what they wanted: a win over one of the best teams in the NBA.

Golden State's 118-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center on Friday night was a continuation of the Warriors' best stretch of basketball all season long and showed just exactly what they can do when everything is clicking.

Draymond Green had a typical game for himself, finishing with 19 assists, 12 rebounds and two points, while Steph Curry put up 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting.

The second unit continued to be a major lifeline, with Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jordan Poole combining for 47 points. Their performance and their ability to extend the Warriors' lead during the non-Curry minutes made you forget they were the only three bench players in Golden State's rotation Friday, as the trio outscored the Nuggets' bench by 19 points.

Every Warrior who touched the floor did something right. If this continues, the Warriors could be especially dangerous come play-in time. Here are three takeaways from Golden State's win.

Steph Curry's tear continues

For the first time this season, MVP chants rang throughout Chase Center. And they weren't even pumped in through the speakers.

But that's what happens with roughly 2,000 fans get to watch Curry play for the first time in over a year. And the two-time MVP gave them plenty of reasons to cheer.

Curry scored at least 30 points for the 12th time in 13 games, finishing Friday's game with 32.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign of Curry's performance, which also says something about the rest of his teammates, is that he didn't get going until later in the second half. He had no points in the first quarter and just seven in the second. And the Warriors were OK.

The Warriors' other starters and bench players held it down as Curry battled through some discomfort early on. But once he got going there was no stopping him, as he bombed 3-pointer after 3-pointer en route to 25 points in the second half.

Curry's right foot, which he tweaked three minutes into the game, didn't slow him down at all. But, as he continued to ice and wrap it throughout the night, it's something to monitor moving forward.

Kelly Oubre stays hot off the bench

Even with Kent Bazemore out in the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Kelly Oubre Jr. came off the bench Friday.

Steve Kerr opted to start Mychal Mulder over Oubre because he has liked Oubre's injury on the second unit. With Bazemore, Damion Lee, Eric Paschall and James Wiseman all out, the Warriors needed an anchor -- a veteran anchor -- among the players they had available.

Oubre has said he doesn't see himself as a sixth man. But in the three games off the bench, the 25-year-old looks like a perfect fit for the role.

Against the Nuggets, Oubre compiled 23 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Until the Warriors are back at full strength and as long as their current rotations remain successful, expect to see Oubre as one of the first players off the bench.

RELATED: Kerr compares Steph's season to unanimous MVP campaign

Locked in on defense

The Warriors ran the Nuggets ragged on Friday night, forcing a team that usually likes to play slow into a fast, up-and-down game.

It played right into the Warriors' hands, allowing them to anchor on defense.

The Warriors held the Nuggets to 37.9 percent field-goal shooting and 26.7 percent on 3-pointers. Jokic, who averaged 26.4 points per game entering Friday, scored just 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting.

Golden State's defense was active from the get, giving a strong effort on every defensive possession. The Warriors also outrebounded the Nuggets, 52-36.

This is the second time the Warriors (30-30) have beaten the Nuggets (38-21) this season, and Golden State lacked depth at center in both victories.

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