After a sluggish start to the season, the Golden State Warriors have won four of five. To continue their roll, they'll have to defeat a Denver Nuggets team that appears to be on the verge of a run of its own.
Golden State looks to maintain its solid play on the road Friday night when it faces Denver in a matchup of clubs seeking their third straight victory.
Klay Thompson scored 10 of his 23 points during a pivotal third-quarter run and the Warriors held on to beat Brooklyn 102-93 on Wednesday night. David Lee added 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for his fifth straight double-double while Stephen Curry had 25 points for Golden State (7-5).
Thompson went 10 for 19 from the field to bounce back from a 2-of-14, seven-point performance in a 105-101 win at Dallas on Monday.
"It felt great, I get to build on it Friday and keep this win streak going," Thompson said. "We've got to stay tough."
The Warriors have been very tough on the boards in their last four wins, outrebounding opponents by an average margin of 14.5 overall and 9.3 on the defensive end. Golden State is 7-0 when it wins the rebounding battle.
"The key once again was defensive rebounding," said Lee, averaging 11.2 boards and 8.4 on the defensive glass to rank among the league leaders.
The Warriors have won two of three away from home and are among five Western Conference teams with an above-.500 road record at 4-3. They'll be looking to avenge a 107-101 double-overtime home loss to Denver on Nov. 10 in which they went scoreless over the final 2:47.
The Nuggets (6-6) are coming off an encouraging 101-94 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday, overcoming a 34-point, 14-rebound performance from Kevin Love in his surprising return from injury. Denver trailed by 17 in the first half and 14 at the break before coming out strong in the second half, winning despite committing 20 turnovers.
"We yelled and screamed a little bit at halftime and they did great," coach George Karl told the Nuggets' official website of his players.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Ty Lawson had 18 with nine assists and Kenneth Faried added 14 rebounds for Denver.
"The balance at both ends of the court was probably the best we've played all year," Karl said.
Faried leads the NBA with 66 offensive rebounds, which could make for a compelling battle with Lee at the Warriors' end of the court. Denver is tops in the league with averages of 16.6 offensive boards, 49.3 total rebounds and 51.8 points in the paint.
Faried had 18 points and 17 rebounds in the November meeting with the Warriors, while Andre Iguodala added 19 points with 12 boards and Gallinari scored 21. Thompson had a game-high 23 points but missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the second overtime.
The Nuggets' two straight victories have followed a three-game skid. They also opened the season with three consecutive losses before going on a four-game win streak.