Familiar foes: Warriors, Nuggets tangle for third time

The Golden State Warriors will meet the Denver Nuggets for the third time in less than three weeks on Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors are 0-2 against Denver early in this 2012-13 campaign. Golden State should be well-rested seeing as how it hasn't played since a 96-85 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Klay Thompson led the way with 24 points and Stephen Curry shot 5-for-10 from beyond the arc for 20 points.

The highlight of the night came from rookie Harrison Barnes. His ferocious dunk over Nikola Pekovic has become an Internet sensation, but Barnes' play is what should be turning heads.

On Saturday, the North Carolina product had 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was his third double-double, tying for the lead this season among NBA rookies. The Warriors are 6-1 when Barnes scores in double-figures.

"Just a great play by him. But more importantly for him, 11 rebounds; led us in rebounds," said head coach Mark Jackson. "When you've got to be committed as a big man to box out (Nikola) Pekovic and also (Kevin) Love, you need your perimeter guys to go in there and rebound, and we outrebounded this team."

Against the Nuggets on Friday, the Warriors lost the third quarter, 31-17. That proved to be the difference for the Nuggets, who had won four straight until a 105-103 setback Monday night in Utah to the Jazz.

It was a very sloppy performance from the Nuggets on Monday. The team was assessed four technical fouls and guard/forward Andre Iguodala was ejected in the third quarter.

Foul-shooting continued to plague the Nuggets. In a critical sequence on Monday, with Utah up two, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin was T'd up and Danilo Gallinari missed the freebie. Then, Kosta Koufos missed both free throws attempts.

"I mean I can't really say much, it's basketball," said Kenneth Faried. "A team at home, of course the crowd got behind them, and we didn't have the composure that we should have as a team."

The Nuggets shot 56.3 percent from the foul line against the Jazz and are dead last in the NBA at 66 percent.

But Denver has handled Golden State so far. The Nuggets earned a 107-101 double-overtime victory on the road on Nov. 10, then came back 13 days later and beat the Warriors 102-91 at the Pepsi Center.

"It's like playing a playoff series, almost, when you play them three times in a few weeks," Nuggets coach George Karl. "They're in good place. They've had a good run so far and we've had two good wins against them. We just have to go into the game and battle them."

Denver is 4-2 in its last six at Golden State.