The Denver Nuggets have managed to even their record following their first 0-3 start in six seasons. Their next opponent also carries a .500 mark into its next game but is coming off a lackluster performance.
The inconsistent Golden State Warriors will try to bounce back from that effort by earning their third win in four matchups with the visiting Nuggets on Saturday night.
Denver was expected to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference but has hardly looked like a contender early in the season. The Nuggets shot a combined 37.8 percent in losses to Philadelphia and Orlando before suffering a last-minute defeat in Miami last Saturday.
Since that loss, they've continued to have few problems scoring, averaging 102.0 points during three consecutive wins. Corey Brewer had 13 of his season-high 20 points in the fourth quarter of a 104-84 drubbing of Utah on Friday while Kenneth Faried and Kosta Koufos each recorded double-doubles.
"He made it a game we could rest our guys for tomorrow," coach George Karl said of Brewer. "Come the fourth quarter (Saturday), that could be important."
While Denver (3-3) has appeared to find its groove, Golden State (3-3) has had trouble getting into one so far this season. The Warriors have alternated wins and losses in each of their six games and were blown out 101-77 on Friday by the Los Angeles Lakers.
After shooting 53.8 percent in a 106-96 win over Cleveland on Wednesday, Golden State made just 29 of 86 attempts (33.7 percent) against the Lakers. Stephen Curry (18) and Klay Thompson (15) were the only Warriors to score more than 10 points, and the team was outrebounded 58-47 during its first of possibly five games without Andrew Bogut.
The 7-foot center is expected to miss about a week while attempting to strengthen his surgically repaired left ankle.
"I think we played well, but the score doesn't say that," Curry said. "Defensively, we did a pretty good job. We're just undersized down there, trying to battle the boards and the paint."
The presence of Curry could help the Warriors once again bounce back from a defeat as he's scored a combined 63 points and made 23 of 30 shots in his last two games against the Nuggets. He had 36 points on 13-of-17 shooting during a 109-101 victory in Denver on Feb. 9.
Curry missed the final two matchups last season after injuring his ankle but Golden State won last season's lone game in California on April 7. Brandon Rush's 20 points paced seven players in double figures in that 112-97 victory but the Warriors couldn't complete the home-and-home sweep, falling 123-84 in Denver two days later.
With 17 points, Thompson was one of only three Golden State players in double figures while the Nuggets had seven, led by Faried with career highs of 27 points and 17 rebounds.
Before their 2-1 showing against Denver last season, the Warriors had dropped 18 of 23 matchups.