Skip to content

Warriors shoot, play solid defense and take control of series 3-1 over Nuggets

Apr 29, 2013, 2:18 AM EDT

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry reacts during their NBA Western Division quarter-final playoff game against the Denver Nuggets in Oakland Reuters

When David Lee went down for the playoffs with a torn hip flexor, the Warriors were going to go small and it was hard to see how they were going to slow down a Denver team that led the NBA in points in the paint this past season. Not that Lee’s a defensive force, but he’s a big body and where was Golden State’s inside/outside balance going to come from?

Meet Andrew Bogut.

Bogut has stepped up like his old self and Stephen Curry has cemented his position as the best shooter in the Association over the last three games.

That combination — and a rash of Denver Nugget turnovers — led the Warriors to a 115-101 win and a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Nuggets. Game 5 is in Denver Tuesday night.

Golden State went small when Lee went down — starting Curry, Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson — and just decided to run with Denver. Game 4 was played at a pace faster than the Nuggets averaged in the regular season.

It works in part because Bogut is having his best stretch of play since before his elbow injury back in Milwaukee, back when people in the game thought Bogut one of the best centers around. In the first half Bogut went 6-of-9 for 12 points, leading a team that shot 52.5 percent in the first 24 minutes. Bogut was throwing down dunks and roaring at the Nuggets. Denver did a good job of taking the ball out of Curry’s hands — he was just 1-of-3 in the first (and that make was a deep three up against the clock).

But the Nuggets couldn’t take advantage because Warriors also did a good job of crowding the paint and contesting the Nuggets shots when they drove the lane. Bogut again was at the heart of that. Denver shot just 42.9 percent in the first half and the team that led the league in points in the paint in the first half had just 18 points.

Golden State went on an 11-0 to end the first half and lead 56-44 at the break. Denver had six turnovers during that run, 14 for the half and was stalling them out.

That trend continued, Denver ended the game having turned the ball over on 23.3 percent of their possessions. They turned it over almost one if four times down the court.

Denver made a push in the third quarter and got the lead down to four with 6:30 left and looked like they might make the series all square.

Then Curry hit another three and it was on. He finished the third with 22 points, he had the crowd fired up — and there are few crowds louder, few places harder to play when the stadium is rocking than Golden State.

Curry finished with 31 points and the Warriors ran away with it in the fourth quarter. Jack finished with 21 and six Warriors were in double digits. Golden State had 48 points in the paint to 36 for a Denver team that averaged more than 50 a game that way in the regular season.

Golden State has embraced what they had to do after Lee went down, beating Denver at its own game. Denver needs Kenneth Faried and its big men to step up and match Bogut, to defend in the paint. When that happens, the Nuggets can focus on keeping a guy on Curry from the second he steps over the half court line, because right now that’s where his range starts.

Denver is going to need a lot or a team everybody was high on a month ago as a team that could shake up the West will be gone after the first round. Maybe after Tuesday.

Latest Posts
  1. LaMarcus Aldridge ruining Dwight Howard’s chance at redemption

    Apr 24, 2014, 1:40 AM EDT

    Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge

    Trail Blazers take 2-0 series lead with second win in Houston

  2. Spurs give the ball away first, then Game 2 to Dallas

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT

    Tony Parker Tony Parker

    The Spurs turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of their possessions. It’s very unSpurs like.

  3. Clipper broadcaster accidentally casts MVP ballot for Most Improved Player

    Apr 23, 2014, 9:23 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies Getty Images

    He has Durant, LeBron and Griffin on his MIP list… but it makes a good MVP ballot.

  4. Allen Iverson documentary trailer debuts (VIDEO)

    Apr 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Allen Iverson Allen Iverson

    The documentary will be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.

  5. Report: Hawks assistant Quin Snyder in mix for Jazz job, too

    Apr 23, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

    Utah needs a coach good at player development, Synder could be a fit.

  6. PBT Extra: How ’bout them Wizards?

    Apr 23, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics Getty Images

    CSNWashington.com’s Wizards insider talks about the best story line in the playoffs so far.

  7. Rockets coach Kevin McHale explains the difference between good and bad players

    Apr 23, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Kevin McHale AP

    McHale jokes with a reporter by making a painfully obvious observation.

  8. Ron Harper expects to interview for Knicks’ coaching vacancy

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Ron Harper Ron Harper

    Harper worked as Pistons assistant for two years

  9. Flip Saunders on coaching the Timberwolves himself: ‘You never know’

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Flip Saunders Flip Saunders

    Timberwolves president coached Minnesota, Detroit and Washington before taking current job

  10. Report: Frank Vogel “coaching for his job” in wake of team’s slide

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Two Getty Images

    It would be a mistake, but the Pacers’ slide has everyone on edge in Indy.

  11. Phoenix’s Goran Dragic runs away with Most Improved Player

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis

    Lance Stephenson was second, Anthony Davis third, but they were well back of Dragic.

  12. Baylor’s Isaiah Austin declares for NBA draft

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin

    7-foot-1, athletic with 3-point range — what’s not to like? A decent amount

  13. Frank Vogel not afraid to make adjustments, but the one he didn’t make might make the difference

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    vogelhibbert

    Frank Vogel resisted the urge to do anything dramatic and trusted his team to make little changes. It worked.

Featured video

Wizards playing spoiler in East
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. A. Jefferson (3067)
  2. K. Durant (2704)
  3. D. Wade (2568)
  4. L. James (2538)
  5. J. Noah (2516)
  1. D. Rose (2509)
  2. K. Bryant (2296)
  3. D. Howard (2109)
  4. N. Hilario (2087)
  5. A. Bogut (2075)