Golden State Warriors pull off an unprecedented meltdown against the defending champs, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

The Golden State Warriors were leading the defending champion Denver Nuggets 121-103 when Brandin Podziemski delivered a steal and layup with 7:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Considering that the game had shifted its tone after a 44-24 third quarter, it’s possible that this was the loudest and most energetic Chase Center has been all season. Shortly after, though, the Nuggets’ 25-4 run to close out the game was completed by an incredible game-winning shot from Nikola Jokic that sent the audience into shock.

It was a complete disaster. A bad dream. a catastrophe. There’s really no other way to interpret the Warriors’ performance, as they easily converted what appeared to be their best victory of the year into their worst. In addition to being dangerous to stop Jokic and other players on the other end, Golden State seemed to be more concerned with putting time on the clock than with actually running offense, and some of Steve Kerr’s lineups were downright odd.

Dario Saric, Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Brandin Podziemski, and Stephen Curry—who had combined for 45 points in the first three quarters—all saw the floor at various moments during the final stretch, demonstrating Kerr’s eagerness to try new things.

Incredibly, though, Kerr decided against switching back to Jonathan Kuminga in the last eighteen minutes of play, even though the third-year forward had finished the game with 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists in a strong 19 minutes.

Over the past several years, the head coach’s trust—or lack thereof—has frequently been a plot point, but as Golden State collapsed in the last six minutes, this was uncommon on a whole new level.

Following a Nuggets offensive frenzy in the first half that saw them score 70 points and lead by seven, the Warriors produced their greatest quarter of the year, stifling the Denver attack while demonstrating their own irresistible might.

The splash brothers were in full swing, Kuminga was bullying his way to the free-throw line with persistent intensity, and Podziemski was lighting up the fans with three third-quarter triples. Even though Golden State gave it their all, they soon left with little to show for it.

Despite having 30 points, four rebounds, and six assists, Curry was unable to generate enough offense in crucial situations. Even though he was also absent in the last few minutes, Thompson was lights out in the first half and finished with 24 points on 9 of 18 shooting.

In a bench team that outscored the Nuggets 41-25, Wiggins added 11 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists in addition to Saric’s 26 points, nine rebounds, and eleven assists. Denver shot 56.5% from the field and attempted 13 more free throws than Golden State, who shot over 54% from the field and nearly 42% from three-point range.

It will be interesting to see how the Warriors bounce back from this setback, and fortunately, they won’t have to wait long as they play the inferior Detroit Pistons tonight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *