NBA

Warriors-Nuggets Preview

Owners of the NBA's best record, the Golden State Warriors are trying to maintain their focus - while also looking at the big picture.

They'll try not to overlook a Denver Nuggets team that just stunned the Eastern Conference leaders, although that seems unlikely to happen with many of the Warriors' best players sitting out the game.

With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut getting the night off, Golden State goes for a sixth consecutive win and third in a row over the Nuggets on Friday night at the Pepsi Center.

''They need a rest,'' coach Steve Kerr said in explaining why starters Curry, Thompson and Bogut and key reserve Iguodala won't play.

The Warriors also will be without center Marreese Speights, who was suspended for one game by the NBA for pleading no contest to reckless driving.

That's 67 percent of the team's offense this season on the bench. The starting lineup will be Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, David Lee, Justin Holiday and Shaun Livingston.

Kerr, of course, is able to rest his top players thanks to his club's comfortable lead in the Pacific Division and seven-game edge over Memphis atop the conference - and he's not conceding anything Saturday.

''Everything is happening at once,'' he said. ''But the flip side of that is we've got great depth. We get to play some guys that haven't been in rhythm. We get to see some different combinations. I have every reason to think we'll come out and give ourselves a chance to win.''

The Warriors are averaging a league-high 109.6 points, and they've limited opponents to 91.6 per game during their winning streak. Thompson scored 27 points and shot 11 of 19 as Golden State connected at a 52.4 percent clip in Wednesday's 105-98 victory over Detroit.

However, the Warriors didn't pull away until midway through the fourth quarter. They also committed 17 turnovers and were outrebounded 21-10 on the offensive glass.

"With the regular season winding down, we want to be playing our best basketball come three weeks, going into the playoffs," said Thompson, who became the 28th player in Warriors history to reach 5,000 points. "If we lock down that home-court advantage, we're going to be a tough out for anybody."

The Nuggets (24-41) have all but been eliminated from the playoffs, but they're showing signs of life under interim coach Melvin Hunt. Denver improved to 4-2 since Hunt replaced Brian Shaw with a surprising 115-102 win over Atlanta on Wednesday.

Danilo Gallinari had 23 points and recently acquired Will Barton added 16 as the Nuggets matched their highest scoring total in 28 games.

"We had fun. We enjoyed the night," forward Kenneth Faried said. "Atlanta is still a top team, one of the top teams in the league. We were able to show, `Hey, maybe the Nuggets can really play and maybe the Nuggets are worth watching.'"

Denver, which beat NBA-worst New York 106-78 two nights earlier, is looking to win three straight for the first time since a season high-tying five-game run Jan. 3-14.

The Warriors, though, routed the Nuggets 122-79 at home in the season's first matchup Jan. 19. Thompson and Curry combined for 42 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter in Golden State's most lopsided win of 2014-15.

The Warriors have won two in a row at Denver after dropping 16 of the previous 18 there.

Golden State is 43-5 when scoring more than 100 points, with all but one of those defeats coming on the road.

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