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Warriors beat Nuggets, increase lead for top seed in West

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Kevin Durant's brilliant night on both ends got cut short by an ejection.

Durant emphatically showed who is still No. 1 in the West, delivering a pair of jarring dunks late in the first half and finishing with 21 points and six assists before being tossed to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 116-99 on Tuesday night in a matchup of the top teams in the conference.

''The energy in the crowd at that point was incredible. When he attacked like that and hammered those two dunks down you could feel the power in the arena, you could feel our home crowd, you could feel the energy of our players,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Those two plays kind of broke the game open and gave us a lot of life. I thought Kevin was tremendous tonight. It's unfortunate he didn't get to play more.''

DeMarcus Cousins had a season-best 28 points, on 12-for-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks for the Warriors (53-24), who have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on Denver (51-26) with five games to go in the chase for the Western Conference's top seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Golden State lost out on the No. 1 spot to Houston last year, but still went on to capture a repeat title.

Durant was ejected with 8:21 left in the third. He became furious wanting a foul call when he airballed a 3-point shot over Paul Millsap, then pointed at and yelled toward official Zach Zarba. Cousins stood between Durant and Zarba, who wasted no time tossing the two-time reigning finals MVP.

''I thought he deserved the first technical I didn't think he deserved the second one. I was very surprised. I watched the whole thing. I didn't think he deserved to be ejected,'' Kerr said. ''I think Zach Zarba's one of the best officials in the game so I've got no complaints with Zach, he knows what he's doing.''

Those were his 14th and 15th technicals, meaning he is one away from an automatic suspension. Cousins was ejected against Charlotte on Sunday, when the Warriors clinched their fifth straight Pacific Division crown.

''I think we can be better at keeping our poise, myself included,'' Kerr said.

Before that, Durant dazzled.

He rebounded Jamal Murray's missed 3 and drove the court, dribbling with his left hand through the paint before switching hands to deliver a powerful one-handed slam. Durant had another moment before halftime, driving the baseline for a two-handed dunk as the Warriors grabbed a 59-43 halftime lead. He also had a pair of blocked shots.

''Kevin attacking the rim got the crowd into it even more,'' Klay Thompson said. ''That was unbelievable. No one was trying to get in the way of that second dunk he had. That was ridiculous.''

Stephen Curry added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. His 3-pointer with 7:22 left gave him five or more 3s in a career-best nine straight games and moved the two-time MVP (16,236) past Chris Mullin (16,235) for fourth place on the Warriors all-time points list.

Murray scored 17 points after he departed the Nuggets' 95-90 home loss Sunday to Washington in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn't return. Murray, who missed six games from Jan. 26-Feb. 4 with an injury to the same ankle, was closely monitored and played nearly 29 minutes.

Millsap had 11 points shooting 4 of 11 for Denver, which lost for the third time in four games and played the first night of a tough back-to-back with San Antonio visiting the Mile High City on Wednesday.

Coach Michael Malone didn't like his team's mistakes right after Durant was tossed.

''When you're playing against a team that's won three of the last four world championships you can't beat yourself and we did that tonight and that's disappointing,'' Malone said.

Durant and Draymond Green had four assists apiece in the opening quarter as Cousins got hot. The big man stole the ball from Nikola Jokic and took it coast-to-coast for a left-handed layup.

Denver jumped to a 20-16 lead before Golden State's 14-4 burst put the Warriors up 30-24 heading into the second. Denver never recovered.

CURRY'S MARK

Curry teased the PR staff regarding the Mullin mark ''because I did not know that was on the horizon.''

''It kind of caught me off guard but it was a pretty special night, understanding what Chris Mullin was able to do in his career wearing a Warrior uniform representing the organization, the Bay Area,'' Curry said. ''His jersey is in the rafters obviously for a reason. Pretty cool moment. I'll hopefully talk to him or see him at some point and we'll share a good moment.''

TIP-INS

Nuggets: The Nuggets shot 7 of 31 from deep. ... They are 12-12 vs. the West on the road. ... Denver had won at least two games against Golden State in nine of the previous 14 seasons.

Warriors: Cousins had his sixth 20-point game. ... Curry now has 340 3s, his second-most in a season behind the NBA-record 402 he hit in 2015-16. ... Golden State won the season series 3-1 and has won 11 of the last 16 with the Nuggets - including eight of nine at home. ... The Warriors also have won five of the last eight season series against Denver.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Spurs on Wednesday.

Warriors: At the Lakers on Thursday.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:46 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 0-3
11:18   Gary Harris missed jump shot  
11:16   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
11:16   Shooting foul on Kevin Durant  
11:16   DEN team rebound  
11:16   DEN team rebound  
11:14   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
11:12 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 3-3
11:11   Shooting foul on Draymond Green  
10:58   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
10:53 +2 Will Barton made jump shot 6-3
10:28   Gary Harris missed jump shot, blocked by DeMarcus Cousins  
10:24   Offensive rebound by Gary Harris  
10:20   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
10:19   Lost ball turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Jamal Murray  
10:15 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot, assist by Will Barton 8-5
10:15   Shooting foul on DeMarcus Cousins  
10:15 +1 Nikola Jokic made free throw 9-5
10:05   DeMarcus Cousins missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:00   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
9:52 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 12-5
9:37 +2 Kevin Durant made fade-away jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 12-7
9:17   GS team rebound  
9:17   Personal foul on Nikola Jokic  
9:05   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
9:01   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
9:01   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
8:58   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
8:45 +2 Paul Millsap made hook shot 14-7
8:24   Personal foul on Stephen Curry  
8:09 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made layup, assist by Kevin Durant 14-9
8:00   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
8:00   Paul Millsap missed dunk  
7:59   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
7:59   Paul Millsap missed dunk  
7:58   Defensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
7:48   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:46   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
7:37   Offensive foul on Jamal Murray  
7:37   Offensive foul on Jamal Murray  
7:24 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot 14-11
7:12 +2 Paul Millsap made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 16-11
7:00   Lost ball turnover on DeMarcus Cousins, stolen by Gary Harris  
6:54   Gary Harris missed layup, blocked by Kevin Durant  
6:53   DEN team rebound  
6:41   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by DeMarcus Cousins  
6:41   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by DeMarcus Cousins  
6:37 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made layup 16-13
6:20 +2 Will Barton made jump shot 18-13
6:06 +3 Kevin Durant made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 18-16
5:51   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Draymond Green  
5:49   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
5:46   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:43   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
5:38   Lost ball turnover on Stephen Curry, stolen by Jamal Murray  
5:38   Lost ball turnover on Stephen Curry, stolen by Jamal Murray  
5:35 +2 Mason Plumlee made alley-oop shot, assist by Jamal Murray 20-16
5:20 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made alley-oop shot, assist by Draymond Green 20-18
5:03   Will Barton missed jump shot  
5:02   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
4:49 +2 Klay Thompson made jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 20-20
4:33   Gary Harris missed jump shot  
4:32   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
4:25   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:23   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
4:17   Will Barton missed layup  
4:16   Offensive rebound by Will Barton  
4:12 +2 Will Barton made dunk 22-20
3:58   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:56   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
3:50 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made finger-roll layup 22-22
3:34 +2 Nikola Jokic made hook shot 24-22
3:15 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made driving layup, assist by Kevin Durant 24-24
2:48   Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:46   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
2:33   DeMarcus Cousins missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:30   DEN team rebound  
2:30   Full timeout called  
2:16   Bad pass turnover on Will Barton, stolen by Stephen Curry  
2:01 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Andre Iguodala 24-27
1:36   Mason Plumlee missed layup  
1:34   Defensive rebound by Andre Iguodala  
1:26   Bad pass turnover on Stephen Curry, stolen by Mason Plumlee  
1:21   Bad pass turnover on Mason Plumlee, stolen by Andre Iguodala  
1:14   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:12   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
0:50   Monte Morris missed jump shot, blocked by Andre Iguodala  
0:50   DEN team rebound  
0:49   Mason Plumlee missed jump shot  
0:48   DEN team rebound  
0:47   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
0:40 +3 Alfonzo McKinnie made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Stephen Curry 24-30
0:27   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:20   Offensive rebound by Will Barton  
0:22   Will Barton missed jump shot  
0:16   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
0:04   Draymond Green missed jump shot, blocked by Paul Millsap  
0:03   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
0:02   Lost ball turnover on Paul Millsap, stolen by Kevon Looney  
0:00   Kevon Looney missed jump shot  
0:00   GS team rebound  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:51   Shooting foul on Quinn Cook  
11:51 +1 Monte Morris made free throw 27-30
11:32   DeMarcus Cousins missed hook shot  
11:30   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
11:30   Shooting foul on Trey Lyles  
11:30   DeMarcus Cousins missed 1st of 2 free throws  
11:30   DeMarcus Cousins missed 1st of 2 free throws  
11:30   DeMarcus Cousins missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:27   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
11:17 +2 Monte Morris made floating jump shot 29-30
11:01   DeMarcus Cousins missed hook shot  
10:42   Malik Beasley missed layup, blocked by Shaun Livingston  
10:38   Defensive rebound by Shaun Livingston  
10:36 +2 Klay Thompson made layup, assist by DeMarcus Cousins 29-32
10:16   Monte Morris missed jump shot  
10:12   Defensive rebound by Andre Iguodala  
10:01   Klay Thompson missed finger-roll layup  
9:56   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
9:44   GS team rebound  
9:44   Personal foul on Torrey Craig  
9:29   Bad pass turnover on DeMarcus Cousins, stolen by Malik Beasley  
9:23   Monte Morris missed layup  
9:17   Bad pass turnover on Klay Thompson, stolen by Trey Lyles  
9:13   Bad pass turnover on Malik Beasley, stolen by Klay Thompson  
9:08 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made layup, assist by Klay Thompson 29-34
8:55   Trey Lyles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:49   Defensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
8:37 +2 Quinn Cook made jump shot, assist by DeMarcus Cousins 29-36
8:16   Traveling violation turnover on Trey Lyles  
8:03 +2 Klay Thompson made fade-away jump shot, assist by DeMarcus Cousins 29-38
7:44 +2 Torrey Craig made layup, assist by Mason Plumlee 31-38
7:24 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 31-41
7:09   Trey Lyles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:09   GS team rebound  
7:09   Personal foul on Mason Plumlee  
6:45   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:39   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
6:28   Quinn Cook missed jump shot  
6:23   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
6:14   Defensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
6:07   Klay Thompson missed jump shot  
6:07   GS team rebound  
6:00   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
5:49   Shooting foul on Draymond Green  
5:49   Nikola Jokic missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
5:48   Defensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
5:32   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
5:27   Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:18   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
5:08 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Andrew Bogut 34-43
4:46 +2 Nikola Jokic made hook shot, assist by Paul Millsap 36-43
4:33 +2 Draymond Green made fade-away jump shot, assist by Stephen Curry 36-45
4:15 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 38-45
3:51 +3 Kevin Durant made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 38-48
3:34   Personal foul on Andrew Bogut  
3:26   Gary Harris missed layup  
3:23   Defensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
3:09   Personal foul on Paul Millsap  
3:03 +2 Andrew Bogut made floating jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 38-50
2:40 +3 Jamal Murray made 3-pt. jump shot 41-50
2:18   Andrew Bogut missed alley-oop shot  
2:21   Offensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
2:21 +2 Andrew Bogut made dunk 41-52
1:54 +2 Kevin Durant made dunk 41-54
1:54   Shooting foul on Will Barton  
1:54 +1 Kevin Durant made free throw 41-55
1:30   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
1:29   Bad pass turnover on Klay Thompson, stolen by Jamal Murray  
1:24   Personal foul on Stephen Curry  
1:15   DEN team rebound  
1:12 +2 Gary Harris made fade-away jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 43-55
1:01 +2 Kevin Durant made dunk 43-57
0:50   Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:38   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
0:30   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
0:04   Offensive rebound by Draymond Green  
0:02 +2 Kevin Durant made driving dunk, assist by Draymond Green 43-59
0:01   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   DEN team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:48   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by DeMarcus Cousins  
11:31   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:27   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
11:24   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:16 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 43-61
10:51   Defensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
10:42 +2 Klay Thompson made jump shot, assist by Stephen Curry 43-63
10:27 +2 Will Barton made reverse layup, assist by Jamal Murray 45-63
10:08 +2 Kevin Durant made fade-away jump shot 45-65
9:49   Will Barton missed jump shot  
9:46   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:43 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Stephen Curry 45-67
9:31   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
9:31 +1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 46-67
9:31 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-67
9:18   Out of bounds turnover on DeMarcus Cousins  
9:05   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
9:02   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:58   Offensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
8:57 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made reverse layup 47-69
8:57   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
8:57 +1 DeMarcus Cousins made free throw 47-70
8:43   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
8:41   DEN team rebound  
8:41   Shooting foul on DeMarcus Cousins  
8:41 +1 Gary Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 48-70
8:41 +1 Gary Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-70
8:27   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:21   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
8:21   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
8:21 +1 Jamal Murray made free throw 50-70
8:21   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
8:21 +1 Jamal Murray made free throw 51-70
8:11   Bad pass turnover on Jamal Murray, stolen by Stephen Curry  
8:11   Bad pass turnover on Jamal Murray, stolen by Stephen Curry  
8:04 +2 DeMarcus Cousins made running Jump Shot, assist by Draymond Green 51-72
7:52   Bad pass turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Alfonzo McKinnie  
7:48 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Alfonzo McKinnie 51-75
7:35 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot, assist by Paul Millsap 53-75
7:18   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:15   Offensive rebound by Alfonzo McKinnie  
7:06   Alfonzo McKinnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:00   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
6:49   Paul Millsap missed hook shot  
6:46   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
6:44   Paul Millsap missed jump shot  
6:42   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
6:41   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Jamal Murray  
6:40   Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:31   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Stephen Curry  
6:31   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Stephen Curry  
6:30   Personal foul on Gary Harris  
6:20   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Mason Plumlee  
6:15   Out of bounds turnover on Will Barton  
6:05   Bad pass turnover on Stephen Curry, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
6:05   Personal foul on DeMarcus Cousins  
5:59   Will Barton missed jump shot, blocked by DeMarcus Cousins  
5:58   Defensive rebound by DeMarcus Cousins  
5:47   Lost ball turnover on DeMarcus Cousins, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
5:43 +2 Will Barton made finger-roll layup 55-75
5:29   Alfonzo McKinnie missed dunk, blocked by Mason Plumlee  
5:23   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
5:21   Gary Harris missed jump shot  
5:15   Defensive rebound by Alfonzo McKinnie  
5:09 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot 55-78
4:52 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot 57-78
4:36   Lost ball turnover on DeMarcus Cousins, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
4:31   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
4:31 +1 Gary Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 58-78
4:31 +1 Gary Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 59-78
4:11   Kevon Looney missed hook shot  
4:08   Offensive rebound by Kevon Looney  
4:06   Bad pass turnover on Kevon Looney, stolen by Jamal Murray  
4:01   Malik Beasley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:56   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
3:53 +2 Alfonzo McKinnie made finger-roll layup, assist by Draymond Green 59-80
3:53   Shooting foul on Gary Harris  
3:53   Alfonzo McKinnie missed free throw