OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - The Golden State Warriors hardly expect to fix every flaw in one night.
Beating Denver in dominant fashion certainly provided a positive first step. The two-time defending champions showed some of that swagger again.
“Pride,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Klay Thompson returned from a two-game absence to score 39 points with nine 3-pointers, and the Warriors bounced back from their worst loss of the season to beat the Nuggets 122-105 on Friday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Thompson sat out that embarrassing 128-95 home defeat Tuesday night to the Celtics, the worst at Oracle Arena in Kerr’s five seasons, because of soreness in his right knee. He then scored 27 points in the first half Friday and wound up 9 of 11 from deep.
Having him back meant a lot, and everybody else brought their best, too.
Kevin Durant added 26 points and six assists, while Stephen Curry scored 17 points. DeMarcus Cousins had a strong outing on both ends with 13 points, six rebounds, six assists, six blocked shots and three steals.
Golden State played with a purpose again, an edge that hadn’t been seen much the past month.
With the Warriors on a two-game home losing streak, they didn’t let Denver get into the game for any significant stretch — much like a 142-111 road win against the Nuggets in January.
“Our guys have responded for the last five years to bad losses, to lulls, so it didn’t surprise me at all that we came out with energy and passion and got off to that great start,” Kerr said.
Malik Beasley scored 17 points off the bench for cold-shooting Denver.
Rockets 107, 76ers 91
In Houston, James Harden had 31 points and 10 rebounds and the Rockets extended their winning streak to a season-high seven games by routing Philadelphia.
Clippers 118, Thunder 110
In Los Angeles, Lou Williams scored 40 points, Danilo Gallinari added 34 and the Clippers beat Oklahoma City for their first four-game winning streak since November.
Russell Westbrook scored 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting for the Thunder before fouling out with 53 seconds left.
Raptors 127, Pelicans 104
In New Orleans, Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Toronto snapped a two-game skid.
Pistons 112, Bulls 104
In Chicago, Blake Griffin had 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter after going to the locker room with an apparent right leg injury as Detroit rallied to beat the Bulls for its fourth straight victory.
In Other Games
Heat 126, Cavaliers 110
Hornets 112, Wizards 111
Grizzlies 114, Jazz 104
Magic 111, Mavericks 106