By Justin Adams

(CBS4) – The top spot in the NBA’s Western Conference is up for grabs Friday night. The Denver Nuggets hit the road to face the Golden State Warriors at 8:30 p.m. The Nuggets (43-21) are just one game behind the Warriors (44-20) in the standings.

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by Monte Morris of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 15. (credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Denver hopes for a better result this time around. The last time these two teams took the court on Jan. 15, Golden State routed Denver 142-111.

But that was without Gary Harris in the lineup. The Nuggets fifth-year shooting guard missed the game because of a nagging hip injury. Now fully healthy, Denver has enjoyed Harris’ offense. In Wednesday’s win against the Los Angeles Lakers, Harris scored 19 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.

Gary Harris (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

“I mean, he’s a hooper,” said Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. “He got to the rim, he made big shots. That what he does and does it with a calm tempo, you know. So we need to keep doing that and we need to see him get in that rhythm back.”

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors drives against Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. (credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“He’s such a big part of what we do. And he’s the one guy in that starting lineup that we’ve been trying to find a way to get his rhythm back. And hopefully tonight, with that performance down the stretch — we don’t win the game without him. Gary was phenomenal and that’s what you want from your starting two guard,” said Nuggets Head Coach Mike Malone.

The Nuggets beat the Warriors 100-98 on the third game of the season on Oct. 21. Denver has 18 games remaining in the regular-season, including one more matchup with Golden State on April 2.


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