Nuggets halt Warriors' win streak at 11

AFP
Overall, the Warriors made 32 of their 83 shots from the floor, and just 3 of 27 from 3-point range as they produced their season-low in points.
AFP
Reuters

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the first quarter of their NBA match at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on December 23, 2017. The Nuggets won 96-81.

The Denver Nuggets stunned the Golden State Warriors 96-81 on Saturday, holding the National Basketball Association champions to a season-low in points and snapping their 11-game winning streak.

The Warriors high-octane offense — which they've maintained despite a spate of injuries that include two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry's sprained ankle — sputtered all night.

"It was frustrating for sure," said Kevin Durant, who led the Warriors with 18 points, but connected on just 6 of 17 shots from the field and couldn't get any of his 5 3-point attempts to drop.

He wasn't the only one suffering. Klay Thompson was 6-of-21 from the field, and 1-of-10 from 3-point range in producing 15 points.

Overall, the Warriors made 32 of their 83 shots from the floor, and just 3 of 27 from 3-point range as they produced their season-low in points.

They missed from beyond the arc, they missed layups — Andre Iguodala was stunned to miss a dunk.

All those misses took a toll, Durant said.

"It's a feel-good game," he said. "You want to make shots, that's what gets us going, that's what gets the crowd going. So you can feel the energy — after every miss Denver was just taking it away from us as far as energy was concerned."

The Nuggets took full advantage, with Gary Harris scoring 19 points to lead a balanced attack that saw five Denver players score in double figures.

Nikola Jokic added 18 points, Wilson Chandler and Trey Lyles scored 15 apiece and Jamal Murray chipped in 14 as Denver followed up Friday's win at Portland with another impressive road victory.

"What a great effort. What a great performance. What a great win for us," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr insisted his team would put the disappointing outing behind it before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers in a Christmas Day showcase — a rematch of the last three NBA Finals.

"You flush this down the toilet and move on," Kerr said.

The Eastern Conference leading Boston Celtics warmed up for their Christmas tilt against the Washington Wizards with a 117-92 romp past the Chicago Bulls.

The Celtics out-scored the Bulls 38-18 in the third quarter to pull away, avenging a humbling defeat in Chicago two weeks ago in which Boston scored a season-low 85 points.

Boston guard Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and handed out 7 assists as the Celtics bounced back from a loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday.

Elsewhere, it was: Thunder 103, Jazz 89; Pelicans 109, Heat 94; Wizards 130, Magic 103; Wizards 130, Magic 103; Hawks 112, Mavericks 107; Raptors 102, 76ers 86; Pacers 123, Nets 119, OT; Hornets 111, Bucks 106; Grizzlies 115, Clippers 112; Spurs 108, Kings 99; Trail Blazers 95, Lakers 92; and Timberwolves 115, Suns 106.

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