The Golden State Warriors' quest for a record-breaking 73-win season just got a little harder thanks to Danilo Gallinari and the Denver Nuggets.
Trailing by as much as 11 in the fourth quarter and playing without Draymond Green, Stephen Curry exploded for 20 of his 38 points in the final period, and was looking for a game-tying or lead-taking shot with Gallinari guarding him and 10 seconds left in the contest.
Curry lost the ball for a moment and Gallinari dove on it to start a break the other way.
"It was a great opportunity to try to tie the game or take the lead," Curry said. "Got stuck between looking for the open man and handling the ball, and one little mishandle and Gallinari got it."
The reigning MVP finished with eight turnovers.
After a quick Klay Thompson three and a 1-of-2 trip to the free-throw line for Gallinari, the Warriors still had one final opportunity to steal a victory.
"Gallo has proven this year he can guard most players on the floor," Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said. "And he did a great job. He got into a stance, forced a deflection, was first to the floor and comes out with the loose ball. Those are winning plays. Those are what separate teams, and we had enough winning plays tonight where we were able to withstand the furious comeback that they made."
The eight-year veteran from Italy is posting career highs in points per game (18.9) and rebounds (6).
He finished the contest with a team-high 28 points.