Warriors erupt for record 51 points in first quarter versus Nuggets

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

DENVER -- The Golden State Warriors set an NBA record with 51 first-quarter points during Tuesday night's 142-111 victory over the Nuggets.

On top of league and franchise records for points in the quarter, the Warriors also poured in 10 first-quarter 3-pointers -- another franchise record, for any quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

"It's beautiful, beautiful basketball," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "I don't remember a better first quarter. That was a fireworks show."

The Warriors shot 19-for-25 from the field (76 percent) and finished 10-of-14 from beyond the arc(71.4 percent) in the first quarter. Golden State finished the quarter leading 51-38 and never looked back.

"Obviously, there's not gonna be very many record-setting quarters every night," Warriors swingman Klay Thompson said. "But it shows you what we're capable of when we're hitting on all cylinders. It's beautiful to watch, and it's more fun to be a part of."

According to data from ESPN Stats & Information, the 51 points are the second most the Warriors have scored in any quarter in franchise history. They registered 57 points in the third quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings in 1989.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors' offensive explosion in the first quarter with 17 points, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, while Thompson scored 13 and Stephen Curry chipped in with 12 of his own.

The Warriors brushed off talk of sending a message to the Western Conference-leading Nuggets prior to the game, but they knew what they had accomplished once it was over.

"We've been paying attention," Curry said. "We know who's been playing well -- and to be honest, we haven't played as well against the playoff teams in the West. We wanna kinda correct that going into the last half of the season. So, this is a big night for us to continue to build momentum. We want to be able to carry this and put a nice little streak together, and we're doing it."

Durant echoed a similar message, saying, "I think they know who we are."

The Warriors celebrated the performance by cheerfully watching highlights of the record-setting quarter in the locker room. What brought some of the joy was the fact that Thompson had a career-high four dunks in Tuesday's game and spent his postgame news conference texting former teammate Zaza Pachulia to pay up on their yearly bet about who will have more dunks on the season.

On top of the excitement about arguably their best win of the season, the Warriors got even more happiness from knowing that All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins is expected to play his first regular-season game Friday night at the LA Clippers, after spending the past year rehabbing from a torn left Achilles tendon.

"We'll figure it out," Warriors forward Draymond Green said of weaving Cousins into the fold. "It's not rocket science. It's basketball. We just got to play good basketball, which we will ... adding [Cousins] to this team is amazing. One of the best talents we got in this league. Definitely looking forward to it -- hopefully it's devastating for everybody else."

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