The Denver Nuggets are not making excuses that injuries are high four-game losing streak.
"We have a lot of young talent and a lot of players with experience. We have a long bench and at this moment with the injuries, we have to find a way to play better and more aggressively," said Nuggets reserve guard Rudy Fernandez.
The Nuggets hope to right the ship tonight in the finale of a three-game homestand versus the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center and have been dealing with a rash of injuries to leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and the absence of Corey Brewer, who is dealing with the death of his father. Gallinari is expected to miss about a month with an ankle injury and Mozgov is nursing the same kind of injury.
Denver did get a healthy Aaron Afflalo (ankle/toe) and Nene (heel) back in Wednesday's matchup with the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, but dropped a 105-95 decision. Al Harrington and Fernandez each scored 17 points, while Ty Lawson chipped in 16 points and 10 assists in the Nuggets' sixth loss in seven tries since a season-best six-game winning streak.
"I don't think we're playing bad basketball, I just don't think we're playing winning basketball," said Nuggets coach George Karl about his team's skid. "I think right now we're doing the [right] things probably 30-35 minutes a game."
Nene added 16 points and grabbed 10 boards, and Afflalo finished with 12 points. Andre Miller posted 11 in a losing effort. The Nuggets, who are 7-6 at home this season, will play four of five games on the road following tonight's test with the Warriors.
Warriors leading scorer Monta Ellis is averaging 33.0 points over his last three games and his career-high 48-point performance in Tuesday's 119-116 loss versus Oklahoma City wasn't enough to lift his team to victory. Ellis has averaged 19.4 points in 16 career games against Denver and hopes to improve that number Thursday night in the Rocky Mountains.
"It was just going in for me tonight," Ellis said after the loss. "Unfortunately we didn't get the win. Our effort was there, we played them hard the whole game and it just came down to one shot."
David Lee had a triple-double with 25 points 11 boards and 10 assists in the loss to the Thunder, while Stephen Curry recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists for Golden State, which has lost two straight and six of its last nine contests. The Warriors shot 55 percent and still lost. Dorell Wright had just nine points, but is averaging 16.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.40 steals in his last five games.
Lee's second career triple-double was the first by a Warriors power forward since Chris Webber back in 1993. The Warriors look to build on their 2-6 road record this evening and have dropped two straight as the guest. They are 3-9 against the West this season and will have several chances to improve that record in a current stretch of 15 games in a row against the conference (3-4).
Warriors guard Nate Robinson (groin) is questionable against the Nuggets.
Golden State lost two of three meetings with Denver a year ago and has dropped 10 of the past 12 matchups between the teams. The Warriors haven't played so well lately in the Rockies either, losing six straight and 13 of 14 visits there. They haven't won a set with the Nuggets since a four-game sweep in 2002-03.