Great rally falls short
Faried injured, put on stretcher
oakland, calif. » With Danilo Gallinari and Jusuf Nurkic returning to the floor Saturday night, the Nuggets finally found a team more ravaged by injury than they are.
Unfortunately for the Nuggets, Draymond Green and the remaining healthy Golden State Warriors were able to hold on — if only barely — for a 111-108 overtime victory in a game inwhich Denver forward Kenneth Faried was carried off on a stretcher after suffering an injury.
Klay Thompson’s driving layup with 15.6 seconds left in the extra period delivered the Warriors’ 34th straight win at Oracle Arena and denied first-year Nuggets coach Michael Malone a signature win with his new team. The Nuggets were outscored 25-4 to open the contest and trailed 37-11 at one point but fought all the way back to force overtime against a Warriors team that was missing Stephen Curry and down to just seven available players by game’s end.
Gallinari scored 24 points in his first action since Dec. 20 and Jameer Nelson added 20 points for the Nuggets, who have lost five straight games and eight of their last nine.
Nuggets guard Will Barton had 21 points, including a layup that tied the score at 102 with 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation, but could not hit either of his last-minute attempts to force a tie in OT. His pull-up 3pointer fromthe leftwing at the final buzzer hit short off the front rim.
The Nuggets didn’t lead at all in regulation, moving in front for the first time after Gallinari drilled a pair of free throws 49 seconds into overtime.
Green— who put up his second consecutive triple-double with 29 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists — responded with a tying layup, then dished to Ian Clark for a go-ahead bucket. But Faried’s putback tied the game at 106 with 2:18 remaining.
Marresse Speights’ 18-foot jumper was
canceled out by Faried’s driving leaner at the 33.3-second mark, leaving the teams knotted at 108.
Thompson followed with his goahead shot, and Barton couldn’t respond at the other end with an off-balance leaner over Andre Iguodala. Thompson, who finished with 26 points, hit 1-of-2 free throws and defended Barton on the final shot.
Curry, who missed the Warriors’ previous two games, returned to the lineup but lasted just 14 first-half minutes before aggravating his bruised left leg. He finished with five points, four assists and two steals.
The early story line regarding the re- turn of Gallinari after missing six games with a sprained left ankle and the season debut of Nurkic, who was coming back following an eight-month recovery from a partially torn left patellar tendon, was swamped by theNuggets’ early struggles. The Warriors led 37-13 after the first quarter, when theNuggets shot just 21.7 percent from the floor and missed all six 3-point attempts.
Nurkic was rusty in his first game action since April 15; after checking in for Nikola Jokic at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter, the Bosnian 7-footer missed all five of his shots, with Green and Andrew Bogut delivering blocks on a couple of attempts. He checked out again after 4:47 and did not play again.
The Nuggets began to right themselves after that, with Gallinari andNelson combining for 20 points in the second quarter.
TheWarriors’ Stephen Currymakes a pass over the Nuggets’ Jameer Nelson in the first half Saturday night in Oakland. Marcio Jose Sanchez, The Associated Press