If you’re the Nuggets or their fans right now, you’re probably still panting. That was the type of game it was tonight, as the Warriors fell to the Nuggets 107-100. The score, however, doesn’t tell the full story. The Warriors at one point in this game, were down by 22 points, but were able to do just enough to get it to five points. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Denver threw a couple of lobs, got some dunks and scored when it mattered, and the result is an upcoming Game 6 in Oakland.
The Nuggets came out with their usual energy to start the first quarter, and opened the game very hot. The Warriors played decently, but of course, their defense flew south when they heard the roar of the crowd. It wasn’t as loud as Oracle, but it was enough to stump the Warriors. Denver shot the ball extremely hot, and lead 36-22 at the end. From that point on, they wouldn’t ever relinquish the lead.
In the second quarter, it was more of the same for the Dubs. They weren’t able to stop the fast face of the Nuggets, even though it suited both of their teams. What George Karl did, and it was quite effective, was put in bigs at the same time. Kenneth Faried would play at the same time as Javale McGee or Kosta Koufus. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they weren’t at all able to utilize Andrew Bogut, who had a miserable night. The Nuggets lead 66-46 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Warriors lead by Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes showed some signs of life. They stormed back furiously to go on a 14-2 run, which cut the lead to nine. Unfortunately for them, they stopped playing defense and the Nuggets countered with a 9-0 run. The Warriors outscored the Nuggets in the third, however, to cut their deficit to 17 at 86-69.
The final period was where the Warriors needed to do some damage. They started hot, again, and opened 10-for-12. With 5:30 remaining in the quarter, the Nuggets had made two field goals, but were making their livings at the foul line, which bit the Warriors. Stephen Curry and the Dubs even worked the lead down to five. This is when the most critical call of the night came. Festus Ezeli set a clean screen on Andre Iguodala, and proceeded to cut to the basket. Iguodala was blocking Ezeli’s path, but he kept running. They got tangled up, with Iguodala hanging on to Ezeli, and the refs called an offensive foul.
The Nuggets scored on the next possession. The Dubs had a chance when both Curry and Thompson had open 3s, but both of them missed. On the other end, Wilson Chandler drained his fifth 3-pointer of the game. “Two great 3-point shooters missed, and one struggling one made it.” Jim Barnett pretty much summed up the Warriors’ night. They were, however, able to take some extra confidence away from Denver. The comeback bid was a message to Denver. Unfortunately for them, they just couldn’t pull it off and it was over.