The Golden State Warriors were one of the best teams in the league before the All-Star break, but now they’re searching for answers to an inexplicable decline.
Golden State has lost four in a row and eight of its last 10 games, and things won’t get easier this week. The Warriors play road games against the Denver Nuggets, on Monday and Thursday nights, sandwiched around a visit from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Denver has a chance to sweep the Warriors in their four games this season. The Nuggets won both games in Golden State, including the last one before the All-Star break on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Monte Morris on Feb. 16.
Stephen Curry said things have to turn around soon.
“We cannot give in to this losing mentality,” he said after an eight-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. “We’re not that team, and I’m not going to let us be that team. … We cannot give in to this losing spirit of just finding different ways to lose basketball games.
“We have 18 games left; we have to figure out how to turn things around pretty quick. If the playoffs started tomorrow, we would be in some trouble.”
Golden State has already announced that Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton Jr. won’t play in Monday’s game. Curry, Thompson and Wiggins will sit for rest while Iguodala (back) and Payton (knee) are nursing injuries.
The Warriors will be severely shorthanded but they may also catch a scheduling break this week. The Nuggets are coming off an overtime win against New Orleans on Sunday night, and then travel to Sacramento for a game Wednesday night, which means Golden State catches them on the second night of back-to-back games both times.
However, if Nikola Jokic plays like he did against the Pelicans, the Warriors could be in trouble. Jokic had 30 of his 46 points after the third quarter and finished with 12 rebounds and 11 assists to notch his 17th triple-double of the season.
Denver was able to rally from 11 down in the final 3:22 of regulation without coach Michael Malone, who was ejected in the third quarter, and Will Barton, who left with a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets listed Barton as day-to-day after the 138-130 win over New Orleans.
“I’m so proud of our group,” Malone said. “To be down as we were, to lose Will Barton to an injury, backs against the wall against the hottest team in the league and to find a way to come back and win that game is a tremendous feeling.”
Denver has had plenty to cheer about of late. After struggling for consistency most of the season, the Nuggets have won 10 of their last 12 to move to 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.
They also play 11 of their final 18 games at home, including four of their last five.
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