The Golden State Warriors concede their first loss of the season to the Denver Nuggets




CNN

Though Steph Curry posted a game-high 34 points, the Golden State Warriors suffered their first loss of the season to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, losing 125-123 to the team they eliminated in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs in April.

Curry added five rebounds and four assists to his 34 points in 10-of-22 shooting but failed to pull his team to victory in San Francisco.

The defending champion was crushed by an impressive performance from last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic, who finished his 77th career triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

With that last one, Jokic now has the second-most triple-doubles in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain at 78.

The first quarter remained well balanced, but Denver pulled away in the second and had built a 20-point lead early in the third.

“I thought they just came out with a lot more strength than we did and set the tone,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, per the NBA.

“And at this point it’s difficult to play upstream against a great team and I loved our effort in the second half. I thought our guys fought and gave us a chance and it was just too much to overcome after falling behind by 20.”

Jokic goes to the basket.

The Warriors fought back in the fourth and a layup by Jordan Poole with 14.7 seconds left left Golden State just a point.

But immediately after, with the Warriors still transitioning back, Jokic secured the rebound and heaved the ball down 85 feet to find Bruce Brown for a two-foot dunk.

Two free throws from Jokic with 6.6 seconds left took Denver’s lead past three points and sealed the win.

“Honestly, we’ve been together for eight years now and [nothing surprises me]’ Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, according to ESPN.

“So many big games, so many moments where [Jokic has] made the big game, the real game, and a groundbreaking way of playing. … His IQ is off the charts. He plays chess and many others play checkers.”

Morant dunks the ball against the Houston Rockets.

Elsewhere in the Western Conference, Ja Morant shone with 49 points leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 129-122 win over the Houston Rockets.

In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets held on to a 109-105 win over the Toronto Raptors after nearly losing a 12-point lead in fourth-place, while the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic 108-98.