The Golden State Warriors now hold a two-game lead over the Denver Nuggets after a 115-101 win Sunday night. Point guard Stephen Curry led the way with 31 points, seven assists, and three rebounds, though he was almost left out of the starting five because of a sore left ankle.
Head coach Mark Jackson decided to leave him in the game, and Curry responded with a strong second half to hold off the Nuggets. Curry scored 21 of his 31 points in the third quarter as the Warriors began pulling away.
The 25-year-old was given a pain-killing injection before the game for the first time in his career, and he couldn’t find his rhythm in the first half. Curry scored just seven points in the half but hit a three-pointer in the final minutes as the Warriors went on an 11-point run before the break to take a 56-44 lead.
The Nuggets stormed back with a 14-4 run of their own to start the third quarter that cut the Warriors’ lead to four. Curry took over from there and hit five three-pointers in the quarter, a Warriors’ playoff record, to give his team a 19-point lead going into the fourth.
The Nuggets never fully recovered and the Warriors went on to a 115-101 win as they now have the chance to end the series on Tuesday night in Game 5 on the road. Six Warriors’ finished in double-figures as the team combined to shoot 55.7 percent from the floor.
Here’s the full highlights from the Warriors’ key win on Sunday night:
Outside of Curry’s big night, Jarret Jack added 21 points and nine assists while Klay Thompson pitched in 13 points. Center Andrew Bogut was critical in the first half but got in foul trouble before finishing with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Nuggets’ Ty Lawson scored 26 points after dropping 35 against the Warriors in Game 3. Andre Iguodala was the only other Nuggets’ starter in double-figures as he finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and a game-high seven turnovers.
A win on Tuesday will lead the Warriors to a second round match-up with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs finished off a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and will now have to wait as the first round comes to a close later this week.
The Nuggets hope to make their wait a little longer as they return home for Game 5 while the Warriors look to close out the series. Can Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors reach the Western Conference semifinals for the first time since 2006-07?
[Image via Keith Allison]