The Golden State Warriors roster defeat the Denver Nuggets in five games, with Stephen Curry scoring 30 points in his first start of the playoffs.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, Stephen Curry dribbled past practically the entire Denver Nuggets squad before completing the perfect teardrop layup to put the Golden State Warriors roster ahead. He glanced at the crowd and placed both hands under one side of his head as he walked down the stairs, signifying to the Nuggets that it was time to retire.
That shot proved to be the dagger that terminated the Nuggets’ season and drove the Warriors roster to a 102-98 win, stamping Golden State’s ticket to the Western Conference playoffs by capturing the series 4-1 on Wednesday evening.
In the second round, the Warriors roster will play the winner of the Minnesota Timberwolves-Memphis Grizzlies series, with Game 1 scheduled for Sunday.
The Warriors roster, on the other hand, were lifeless during the opening 30 minutes of Game 5 against the Nuggets. Chase Center was on the verge of dying. There was a tangible sense of unease and nervousness in the air.
Curry stated, “You could sense we were pushing a little bit.”
“We’ve all been there before, Draymond [Green], Klay [Thompson], and [Kevon Looney], and we enjoy the competition and the atmosphere. It’s also a reminder of things like this — it was simply a strange sensation since we hadn’t been there in a long time. We really wanted it this time. We made things more difficult for ourselves.”
Green sank a 26-foot 3-pointer at the 6:20 minute of the third quarter to get the Warriors within six points of Denver. It provided them the impetus they needed to resurrect themselves and the structure.
“We went on a run and reduced it to one, but they eventually increased it to eight. But we knew right then and then that we’d gotten some traction “Green said. “We were able to get the game at the speed we desired.”
When the fourth quarter began, the Warriors were behind eight points, but they outscored Denver 32-20 and outshot the Nuggets 63 percent to 53 percent from the field to earn the series-clinching victory.
The Warriors‘ greatest adjustment was getting stops without fouling. The Nuggets had made 23 free throws to the Warriors’ 16 at that time.
“We were able to get the game at our speed after we stopped fouling,” Green added. “It seemed to be more like Games 1 through 3 than Game 4.”
The Warriors roster also switched to a box-and-one defense, which eventually stymied the Nuggets’ attack. Instead of facing a set Denver defense each possession, the Warriors were able to push the tempo and play in transition, allowing them to get into their offensive flow.
Curry scored 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and had a hand in 10 of the Warriors’ 15 crucial shots.
Thompson said, “I have so much trust in Curry.” “Tonight, some of the 3s he was making were unbelievable. Making the pocket pass, as well as going to the rim. Steph Curry is a one-of-a-kind player, and you’ll probably never see another like him again.”
Curry’s first start of the playoffs came in Game 5, which also marked the debut of the Warriors roste’ suddenly devastating small-ball lineup. Before Looney stepped in replace Jordan Poole, the unit’s first tenure lasted just 312 minutes. However, because to early fouling, the Warriors didn’t play that combo too much.
Green scored 11 points, six assists, three blocks, and a steal against Thompson’s 15 points.
Gary Payton II, who came off the bench and gave the Warriors a huge lift, was the game’s greatest game-changer.
When asked to characterize what Payton contributed to the game, Golden State coach Steve Kerr replied, “I don’t know where to begin on that one.” “In the fourth quarter, his defense was outstanding. That is why I chose to remain with him. But then he began draining three-pointers and going to the hoop for a few layups. I believed he was a key impact in the game and deserved to remain out there with the way he was playing, so we kept him out there for the whole fourth quarter and he came through big time.”
Payton scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a wide-open 3-pointer to give the Warriors a crucial 86-84 lead heading into the closing stretch. With little under a minute remaining in the game, he nailed another three to put the Warriors up five.
All the Warriors roster had to do was wrap up their first-round series against the Nuggets in Chase Center’s first closeout game after blowout triumphs in Games 1 and 2 and then two squeaked-out games in Denver — one victory and one defeat.
Contest 5 was, according to Thompson, a “must-win” game. It wasn’t a win-or-go-home situation, but it was evident that Golden State couldn’t give the Nuggets any more life by returning to Denver.
In Game 5, the Warriors roster let Denver to hang around a little longer than they intended, but they still won.
“Hopefully, this is just the beginning,” Thompson added. “Obviously, we’re not satisfied, but it’s something we can be proud of. Especially after being injured for the last two years and not having our whole team together. It’s such a terrific playoffs again now that we’re practically whole, and we’re looking forward to the next round.”