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Dieter Kurtenbach: The Warriors were hit with a harsh reality check by the defending champions. They can't afford to ignore it.

Dieter Kurtenbach, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Basketball

SAN FRANCISCO — The Denver Nuggets hit the Warriors with a reality check Sunday night at Chase Center.

The Dubs came into the game riding high, having won three straight games amid a larger stretch that has returned the team to respectability and the fringe of the Western Conference’s top six.

Golden State was starting to think they could turn this season — on the verge of being condemned only a few weeks ago — into something to remember.

Perhaps the Warriors can do that down the line.

But the Nuggets showed them that there’s a big gap between respectability and serious contention, and the Warriors are nowhere near that second status.

We saw the Nuggets do to the Warriors on Sunday night what we saw the dynastic Warriors do to so many teams for a half-decade: they messed around with them for a while to start the game, allowing the opposition to build up a lead and confidence — then they suffocated them.

 

The Warriors led by as many as 15 points in the first half. Klay Thompson looked 23 again, scoring 23 in the first two quarters. Andrew Wiggins looked like an impact wing. The ball was moving on offense, the Warriors were rotating on defense, and the San Francisco crowd was justly loving life.

Then the Nuggets decided they had enough of all of that.

Denver went on a 14-0 run to end the first half, tying the contest at the break.

Then, in the second half, they put another 14-0 run on the board.

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