NBA

Nuggets-Warriors Preview

It has been a while since the Golden State Warriors had anything meaningful to play for, but that will be true for only one more game.

The final tuneup for possibly the most highly anticipated postseason in franchise history takes place Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets with the Warriors going for an 18th consecutive home victory.

The winningest regular season in this franchise's 69-year existence and the Western Conference's No. 1 seed were clinched in late March, then home-court advantage throughout the playoffs was wrapped up a week and a half ago. Golden State (66-15) now has a chance to become the 10th team in NBA history to record 67 victories - all but two of the previous nine won championships.

The Warriors are 38-2 at Oracle Arena and only six teams have finished with a better home record. They had a franchise-record home winning streak of 19 games earlier this season and now have a 17-game run, fairly daunting for potential playoff opponents who must win at least once in the Bay Area to beat Golden State in any series.

"Coming into the season, we knew we had a great chance to be really good," forward Draymond Green said. "Obviously championship good, we knew we had a lot of work to do. But I said in the first 25 games, I think we won 23 of them, and you start to realize that you can do some special things. From that point on, we really focused in on it and that's our goal."

It's unclear if coach Steve Kerr will rest his starters. All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have continued to play regular minutes, though Curry sat out a fourth quarter for the 19th time this season Monday and Thompson also rode the bench for it but deserved the rest.

Thompson scored 26 of his 42 points in the second quarter, helping the Warriors build a 32-point lead before they held off Memphis 111-107. He shot 15 of 20 from the field and 8 of 10 on 3-pointers after hitting 37.3 percent from the floor and 7 of 22 beyond the arc in the previous four games.

"It felt good to see some shots go in," he said. "By my standards, I haven't been shooting it as well as I want to this past week or two. It felt good to have it all come together."

The Warriors had 30 assists and lead the league with 27.4 per game, a big reason they also top the NBA in scoring (109.7).

"We really don't care who scores the ball, we just wanna win the game," Thompson said. "That's when we're at our best, when we're moving the ball and not settling for a good shot but a great shot."

Slowing down the Warriors will be difficult for Denver, allowing an average of 116.0 points in its last six games.

The Nuggets (30-51) will finish with their worst record since 2002-03, but they've split the last four games with the losses being close ones to playoff-bound opponents - in double-overtime to Dallas and 110-103 to the Clippers on Monday.

Interim coach Melvin Hunt expects his players to go all-out Wednesday even with nothing at stake.

"I want us when we get on that plane after playing Golden State, I want it to be as quiet as a library because they're so exhausted just from playing hard," he said. "... I want them to get every ounce of enjoyment out of this next performance as they can so we can have a good summer."

Kenneth Faried had his 12th double-double in 21 games since Hunt took over with 19 points and 17 rebounds Monday while Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 32. Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari were rested but should play Wednesday, though Jameer Nelson (hip) could miss a fifth straight game.

These teams have split two meetings with Denver winning the most recent 114-103 at home March 3, but the Warriors rested Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. Golden State rolled to a 122-79 home win Jan. 19.

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