During a showdown between the top two teams in the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors (30-14) blew out the Denver Nuggets 142-111 and set an NBA record by scoring 51 points in the first quarter.
The Warriors scored ten 3-pointers in the first quarter, which set a franchise record for most treys in a quarter. The Warriors once scored 57 points in a single quarter, but that was the 1989 squad against the Sacramento Kings.
The Nuggets (29-13) came into the game against the Warriors with the best record in the Western Conference. They were also 18-3 at home before the Warriors blew them out in the Mile High City and jumped ahead of them in the standings.
During their record-breaking night, the Warriors cranked out ten three-pointers on 10-for-14 shooting in the first quarter. Overall, the Warriors shot 76 percent from the field and missed only six shots in 25 attempts.
“It’s beautiful, beautiful basketball,” said Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “I don’t remember a better first quarter. That was a fireworks show.”
The Warriors jumped out to a 51-38 lead. They never looked back and led by 19 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets trailed by 29 points and dug themselves into a deeper hole.
Three players scored double digits for the Warriors in the first quarter. Kevin Durant did not miss a shot and he dropped 17 points in the opening frame. Klay Thompson scored 13 points and Steph Curry added 12.
To quote Scott Van Pelt, “It was defense-optional night in the NBA.”
Best in the West
The Warriors came in with the #2 seed in the West, but the left town with the top spot. The Nuggets lost their first major showdown of the season.
“We’ve been paying attention,” said Steph Curry. “We know who’s been playing well and to be honest, we haven’t played as well against the playoff teams in the West. We wanna kinda correct that going into the last half of the season. So, this is a big night for us to continue to build momentum. We want to be able to carry this and put a nice little streak together, and we’re doing it.”
The high-flying Nuggets had won 12-straight games in Denver before the Warriors came to town. The Warriors handed them only their fourth home loss of the season. They finished the night shooting 60 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from behind the three-point arc.
Shooting guard Michael Beasley led the Nuggets in scoring with 22 points and six treys. Point guard Jamal Murray added 21 points in a losing cause.
Curry and Thompson finished the night with 31 points each. Durant added 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting.
According to the South Coast Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Golden State Warriors are -175 odds to win the NBA championship. The Denver nuggets are 30-1 odds to win the title.