How unlikely! Tonight, the Warriors came into Denver without their star forward and silenced all of the hatred. The Warriors played their best basketball of the season tonight, had something to play for, and have completely changed the tone of this series. They’re going to fly back to Oakland with happy faces, and get a good night’s sleep. This series is far from over, but the Warriors have stolen home-court advantage in this first round. Tonight, they torched Denver 131-117.
In the first quarter of this game, Marc Jackson pulled a surprise on the Nuggets, and ended up starting Jarrett Jack over Carl Landry. It was interesting to see because this moved Harrison Barnes to the 4 spot, and there, he thrived. Klay Thompson opened 3/3 and scored the first 7 points. The Warriors opened 6/9, while the Nuggets opened 6/11. It was a fast-paced game that was tied 13-13 mid quarter. Andre Iguodala, an interior scorer was able to do some damage, however, with two killer three’s from downtown. The Dubs never let the Nuggets get into their heads, and only trailed 28-26 at the end of the first.
The second quarter is where things started to escalate. Curry couldn’t buy a shot early, but he got Richard Jefferson and Draymond Green open threes, which really opened up a small lead for the Warriors. The next thing they knew, they were up 54-44 with 3:20 left in the half. At this point, Stephen Curry had found his rhythm and hit five shots in a row, after starting 1/5. The Warriors lead 61-53 at the end of the half after a blistering 35 point quarter.
The third quarter, last game, was where the Warriors really were dismantled by the Nuggets. Tonight, however, that wasn’t the case at all. The Dubs were able to push their lead out further and further. For most of the quarter, it was a 12 point game with both teams effortlessly trading buckets. Stephen Curry’s tweaked ankle was a bit worry-some, but he was able to come back and do some damage. The Warriors closed the quarter hot, and finished with a 96-80 lead. They scored 35 points in the third quarter as well.
With a couple of questionable calls by the refs, the Nuggets were able to get right back into the game. Still, the Warriors’ offensive barrage was too much for them. It was Klay Thompson with threes, Stephen Curry with threes, Harrison Barnes with dunks, and Jarrett Jack with everything! the Warriors’ offense was clicking on all levels, and they were able to put the Nuggets away. They once again scored 35 points in the fourth.
1. Stephen Curry: 30 points, 13 assists, 3 steals
2. Klay Thompson: 21 points, possession-saving defense
3. Jarrett Jack: 26 points, 7 assists
4. Harrison Barnes: 24 points, 6 rebounds
5. As a team: 51/79, 64% from the field, 14/25, 65% on three point shots