Programming note: Warriors-Nuggets coverage starts today at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and streaming live right here (territorial restrictions apply).
After beating the Pistons on Wednesday in Oakland, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would seek opportunities to rest players over the final five weeks of the regular season, beginning with a back-to-back set that starts in Denver on Friday night.
Kerr on Friday morning announced starters Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as key reserve Andre Iguodala, would sit out the game against the Nuggets on Friday night at Pepsi Center.
The Warriors (51-12) anticipate the Nuggets (24-41) will continue to rely on a small lineup under interim coach Melvin Hunt, who last week replaced Brian Shaw, who was fired in the midst of his second season. After going 21-39 under Shaw, the Nuggets are 3-2 under Hunt.
Warriors by 9
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Draymond Green vs. Kenneth Faried -- Faried, a power forward, has been starting center of late. Green also is a power forward but plays a lot of minutes at center in the Warriors' small lineup. He's a natural to match up with the hyperactive Faried. Green also could match up with backup center J.J. Hickson.
Shaun Livington vs. Ty Lawson -- Lawson remains one of the quickest players in the NBA, but he has been in a bit of a slump. The 5-foot-11 vet is shooting 34 percent over the last eight games. Livingston, replacing Curry at the point, will try to use his length (he's 6-7) to contain Lawson's offense while shooting over his defense.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Match the intensity -- The Nuggets evidently feel revivified under Hunt. That and Denver's mile-high altitude could pose considerable challenges for the Warriors.
2) Protect the paint -- The Nuggets attack the rim because they have to; they rank 29th in 3-point shooting (31.6 percent). That means plenty of work for backup center Festus Ezeli and Green. The Warriors want to force Denver to make jumpers.
3) Transition defense -- With the Warriors dressing only nine players, the Nuggets will try to run. Will the Warriors have the energy to get back?
Warriors 8-2, Nuggets 4-6
Warriors: No injuries reported. Bogut, Curry, Iguodala and Thompson will rest.
Nuggets: F Darrell Arthur (right soleus strain), F Wilson Chandler (left knee soreness) and C Jusef Nurkic (right ankle sprain) are listed as probable.
F James Michael McAdoo on Thursday was recalled from the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
[RELATED: Warriors recall McAdoo from Santa Cruz]
The Warriors have won the last two meetings at Pepsi Center, but previously had lost nine of 10 in Denver. The Warriors over the decades are 19-60 in Denver.