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Klay Thompson poured in 27 of his game-high 39 points in the first half Friday night, allowing the Golden State Warriors to run away from the Denver Nuggets for the second consecutive time on their way to a 122-105 blowout win in Oakland, Calif.
The win allowed the Warriors (45-20) to increase their lead over the Nuggets (43-22) atop the Western Conference playoff race.
It also gave Golden State a 2-1 lead in the season series, with one game remaining in Oakland on April 2.
Much as they did in a 142-111 shellacking of the Nuggets in Denver in January, the Warriors dominated the first quarter en route to a lead they relinquished only briefly.
The Warriors burst out of the gate with a 15-3 run, with Thompson contributing his first two 3-pointers to the burst.
Golden State led by as many as 19 in the quarter, but the Nuggets rallied to within 30-20 by period’s end and into a 40-39 lead midway through the second quarter after a pair of 3-pointers by Malik Beasley.
The Warriors led 53-50 before finishing the half on a 14-0 run, using four 3-pointers — two by Thompson — to account for all but two of the points en route to a 67-50 halftime advantage.
The Nuggets got no closer than eight in the second half.
Thompson finished 9 for 11 on 3-pointers in his first outing after a two-game absence due to a sore right knee. He had averaged 27.7 points on 52 percent shooting in his last three games before the time off.
Kevin Durant backed Thompson with 26 points for the Warriors, who had lost three of their previous four games, including a 128-95 home embarrassment at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Stephen Curry finished with 17 points and DeMarcus Cousins with 13 to complement six rebounds, six assists and six blocked shots for the Warriors, who shot 53.6 percent for the game while connecting on 18 of 35 from 3-point range.
Draymond Green was Golden State’s leading rebounder with 10.
Beasley and Monte Morris had 17 points apiece off the bench to lead Denver, which completed a 1-2 trip that began with a loss at San Antonio.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were the only two Nuggets starters to score in double figures, with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Backup Torrey Craig also had 11 points and nine rebounds, while Mason Plumlee was the game’s leading rebounder with 12 to go with eight points for Denver, which made just 37.9 percent of its shots and just 12 of 33 3-point attempts.
—Field Level Media