Notebook: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105



Posted Nov 30, 2012 2:24 AM

By Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: David Lee had 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Golden State Warriors survived a buzzer-beating 3-point attempt by Andre Iguodala that didn't, holding off the Denver Nuggets 106-105 Thursday.

Klay Thompson had 21 points with a career-best nine rebounds and Stephen Curry notched his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who came back from a 16-point deficit early in the third quarter. At 9-6, Golden State moved into a tie for first place atop the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Iguodala had 22 points to lead Denver, but missed the last of three free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to squander a chance at forcing overtime. Danilo Gallinari finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.

TURNING POINT: Denver had multiple chances to tie or win in the dying seconds, but couldn't quite cash any of them in. Down three but with possession after forcing a 15-foot fadeaway miss by Jarrett Jack, the Nuggets pushed the ball upcourt to Iguodala, who drew what was judged to be a shooting foul behind the 3-point arc on Jack at the 3.4-second mark. Iguodala made his first two free throws and missed the last, but the rebound went off of Golden State's Draymond Green with 2.1 seconds left. After a botched inbounds pass ran the clock to 0.5 seconds, the Nuggets found Iguodala on the left wing, but his 3-pointer came just a split-second too late.

QUOTABLE: "Great camera work. Shout out to the cameraman."

-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson on the replay that confirmed Iguodala's shot came after time expired.

THE STAT: After being savaged for a combined 124 points in the paint in their first two meetings this season, the Warriors responded Thursday, holding Denver to just 44. The Nuggets, ranked No. 1 in offensive rebounding at 15.5 per game, had just 10 on the night, and were limited to 13 second-chance points.

INSIDE THE ARENA: There was a fingernail-chewing wait for Oracle Arena fans during the final replay review on Iguodala's shot. Tensions were already high because many in the crowd felt the referees had mistakenly given the ball to the Nuggets to set up the play. On the previous inbounds, Andre Miller's looping pass meant for Ty Lawson came up short, and the ball bounced out of bounds after a tussle between Lawson and Curry.

QUOTABLE II: "We were pretty confident on a lot of the calls that didn't go our way during the course of the game. So we really weren't sure. We're happy that one went in our favor."

-- Warriors' Jarrett Jack

HOT: Lee went 13-for-15 from the floor en route to his 12th career 30-point game and helped carry the Warriors to a 51.2 percent mark as a team.

NOT: Denver was shooting 50.7 percent through three quarters, but the wheels came off in the fourth period, when the Nuggets were 4-for-17. That included a 1-for-9 stretch to open the quarter, allowing Golden State to erase an eight-point deficit in short order.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Jack had his best game as a Warrior, dropping a season-high 18 points with five assists in what was often a three-guard Golden State attack. Unfortunately for him, the Warriors only have one more game left against Denver this season; Jack is averaging 14.3 points per game against the Nuggets in 2012-13, 6.2 against everyone else.

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets struggled mightily through the first 16 minutes of play, falling behind 43-34 with 7:47 remaining in the second quarter. Shortly thereafter, Denver coach George Karl abandoned the idea of trying to take advantage of Golden State's small lineup with size, choosing instead to attack with speed and a smallball quintet of his own. Gallinari came in for JaVale McGee at the 7:39 mark, and the Nuggets finished the quarter off with a 26-8 run that left them up nine at the half.

BAD MOVE: Andre Miller hadn't played for more than 7 1/2 minutes when Karl brought him in to trigger the Nuggets' inbounds play with 2.1 seconds left. With lanky Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes in his face, Miller's pass was nearly intercepted and arguably should have gone to Golden State when it went out of bounds.

NOTABLE: Lawson finished with 17 points, nine assists, four rebounds and four steals for Denver. . . . Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried was relatively quiet with just 10 points and seven boards, but did have a career-high five blocks, including a couple of spectacular chase-downs to erase Golden State fast-break opportunities. . . . This is the latest Golden State has held a share of the division lead since December 2005. . . . Warriors rookie center Festus Ezeli put up two points, which is remarkable only because he went scoreless in a combined 28 minutes during his first two appearances against the Nuggets.

UP NEXT: For the Nuggets, Friday @ L.A. Lakers, Monday vs. Toronto, Wednesday @ Atlanta. For the Warriors, Saturday vs. Indiana, Monday vs. Orlando, Wednesday @ Detroit.