The Denver Nuggets entered Tuesday with a 0.5-game lead over the Golden State Warriors for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. And on Tuesday night, the Nuggets got to host the Warriors at the Pepsi Center, with the opportunity to show that they’re for real and a legitimate threat to Golden State.

Well, a statement was indeed made… by the Warriors.

Golden State blew out the Nuggets 142-111, and the dismantling began with a 51-point first quarter, the highest-scoring first quarter in NBA history.

The Warriors shot 60% from the field and were particularly lethal from three-point range, where they made 21-of-39 shots (53.8%). Steph Curry (31 points, 8-of-13 on 3s), Klay Thompson (31 points, 5-of-8 on 3s), and Kevin Durant (27 points, 5-of-7 on 3s) all scored at least 27 points and had at least five three-pointers.

There’s been talk about the Warriors being more vulnerable this season, but odds are it just appears that way because Golden State hasn’t cared about winning early-season games as much as everybody else has.  Their main goal is — regardless of what they tell the media — to get into the playoffs healthy, and should that happen, they know they’ll be the team to beat by a wide margin.

But they’re human beings, and they surely get a bit more motivated to make a statement against teams perceived as a threat. However, when the idea of “sending a message” was suggested to Durant in the postgame, he said, “I think they know who we are.”

The Warriors — winners of five straight — have an unfairly quick turnaround and travel situation, with a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. It will be interesting to see how Steve Kerr distributes the minutes and if he gives any of the stars a night off.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.