May 1, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT
The Nuggets finally looked like themselves this series, and not a moment too soon. By beating the Warriors 107-100, the Nuggets not only staved off elimination, but grabbed some momentum in the process.
Nearly every Nugget win this season saw the same trends develop and this game was no different. Denver scored 50 points in the paint, forced 17 Warrior turnovers (which they turned into 19 points), and worked the offensive glass to grab 15 offensive rebounds (which they turned into 20 points). When Denver can control these three aspects of the game, they become almost unbeatable as the Warriors found out.
The star of the game was Andre Iguodala who put up a LeBron type line, stuffing the stat sheet with a team high 25 points while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing 7 assists. Iguodala was all over the floor, flashing his versatility by playing a lot of point forward and creating shots for himself and his teammates off the dribble. And when he wasn’t handling the ball, he was working masterfully off it, finding space in the post and punishing the smaller defenders Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson tried to hide on him all night.
Outside of Iguodala, it was a real team effort from Denver who got several strong contributions up and down their roster. Six players scored in double-digits, with Wilson Chandler‘s 19 points via some very good outside shooting helping to create spacing for Ty Lawson (who also scored 19) to create off the dribble and attack the interior of the Warriors’ defense.
But while the Nuggets on the floor clearly picked up their respective games to pick up this win, a lot of credit has to go to head George Karl for pushing the right buttons and making some effective adjustments. Karl switched up his starting lineup, going to JaVale McGee at Center to play next to Kenneth Faried in the front court. McGee’s activity in defending the paint allowed the Denver’s wing defenders to pressure the ball and shoot the gap into passing lanes and create turnovers.
Karl also went away from the Lawson and Andre Miller backcourt — at least early in the game — playing Corey Brewer at shooting guard for extended minutes while also matching up Kosta Koufos against Carl Landry for the majority of his minutes. These shifts kept much more size on the floor and kept the Warriors flustered on offense as they always seemed to run into a bigger, longer defender than they have all series.
In contrast to Karl, Warriors’ head man Mark Jackson made some decisions that he’d likely take back if given another opportunity. For long stretches he tried to hide Curry defensively on Iguodala, but as mentioned that went poorly. He also closed the game with Draymond Green and Festus Ezili rather than playing Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry. Bogut’s absence was particularly glaring as the team missed his defensive presence and work on the glass.
Not to bury Jackson as he did ride out the stretch with the guys who were able to make a push and cut into the Nuggets’ lead to make it a game in the 4th quarter.
After starting so slowly due to some solid defense and some physical play, Curry scored 7 of his 15 points in the final period while also handing out 2 of his 8 assists. Along with Curry, Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson were key in pulling the Warriors back to within 5 points with only 4:15 left to play, hitting some big baskets while the Nuggets looked more than ready to give up the lead entirely.
But that was as close as the Warriors got. Down the stretch a big three by Chandler and a dunk by Iguodala off an airballed jumper ended up sealing Golden State’s fate.
With the series heading back to Oakland, it remains to be seen if Denver has actually figured things out to the point that they can still pull out the series. But, even if it was just for one night, the Nuggets finally resembled the team they were from the regular season; the team that was favored to win this series.
Mar 17, 2014, 3:58 PM EDT
Carmelo Anthony doesn’t really wants to leave the Knicks, he just wants to see a path to a title. Phil Jackson may be that path.
Mar 17, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
After injuring his neck against the Pacers he is out against the Nuggets Wednesday and maybe longer. Pistons should not rush him back.
Mar 17, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT
Steve Kerr tried to dodge questions about the New York Knicks coaching job while in the Dan Patrick Show Monday.
Mar 17, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT
The Spurs and Clippers have distanced themselves from the pack with double-digit winning streaks and sit on top. The Sixers have anchored themselves to the bottom.
Mar 17, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
Gooden has given Washington a dangerous, hot-shooting lineup.
Mar 17, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
You know the game is a blowout when one of the league’s worst free throw shooters gets to take a technical foul shot.
Mar 17, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT
Rondo tries to take the blame for Boston’s overtime loss to the Pelicans. But he wasn’t the one guarding Anthony Davis.
Mar 17, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
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Mar 17, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
After one year at Duke, the 6’8″ forward with three point range is looking at the NBA.
Mar 17, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
The 2012 draft already looks like it will go down as one of the NBA’s stronger ones ever. Andre Drummond is incredibly promising. Damian Lillard won Rookie of the Year and is even better this season. But there’s no doubt, if the draft were re-done, Anthony Davis would remain the No. 1 pick. Days like…
Mar 17, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
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Mar 17, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
One in four shots in an NBA Game this season has been a three. That number is only going to go up.
Mar 17, 2014, 3:00 AM EDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers made the playoff their firm goal, started poorly, traded for Luol Deng, fired their general manager, re-affirmed their playoff priority and backed it up by trading for Spencer Hawes. By winning the first two games of their current road trip – at Phoenix, at Golden State – the Cavaliers finally looked like…
Mar 17, 2014, 2:57 AM EDT
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Mar 17, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
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Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
A report says the Cavaliers would have been interested in hiring Phil Jackson, which is interesting because it’s likely a position he never would have even considered.
Mar 16, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
DeMar DeRozan expressed his displeasure over a non-call by kicking the ball away from a referee — a move which guaranteed him a quick whistle in the form of a technical foul.
Mar 16, 2014, 7:41 PM EDT
Midway through the third quarter you had to like how the Rockets were playing against the Heat in Miami. Tied 92-92, the Rockets got what seemed like their 5,347th floater in the lane of the night, this time it was Chandler Parsons over Chris Andersen. The Rockets players did not fear the Heat shot blockers…
Mar 16, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
Patrick Beverley leaves LeBron James in the dust, before attacking the rim and throwing down a huge slam on Chris Bosh.
Mar 16, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
LeBron takes a nice pass from Wade and elevates over Dwight Howard for the vicious first quarter slam.
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