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It’s kind of funny how things work out. When the Nuggets and Warriors match up, one would expect a track meet to break out. Both teams were top-five in the NBA in terms of pace and both have well-deserved reputations as high-power offensive juggernauts. But that hasn’t exactly been the case in this season’s head-to-head meetings, as both teams have stayed pretty true to their season scoring averages.

Denver is the leading-scoring team in the NBA (106.1 ppg) and they are second in pace (97.76 possessions per 48 minutes), while the Warriors rank seventh (101.2) and fourth (96.81) in those categories, respectively. However, in their four games with the Warriors, the Nuggets have averaged a 96.81 pace and 107.5 points, while the Warriors were spot on with their season marks of 100.8 points per game and a 96.81 pace in those four games.

TO Ratio
(NBA Rank)
(NBA Rank)
OffRtg=Offensive Rating: Measures a team's points scored per 100 possessions.
DefRtg=Defensive Rating: Measures a team's points allowed per 100 possessions.
Reb%=Rebounding Percentage: The percentage of available total rebounds a team gets.
TO Ratio=Team Turnover Percentage: The number of turnovers per 100 possessions.
TS%=True Shooting Percentage: Calculates shooting percentage adjusting for the value of free throws and three-point field goals. PTS/(2*(FGA + 0.44*FTA))
Pace=Number of possessions per 48 minutes.

So how did each of those Warriors-Nuggets games unfold? Let’s review …

November 10, 2012 | L, 107-101 (2OT) | Oracle Arena | Oakland, Calif.
The Warriors fell to the Nuggets at Oracle in double-overtime despite holding a 101-96 lead with 2:47 remaining in the second OT. Denver finished the game on an 11-0 run to close out the 107-101 victory ... The Warriors shot under .400 (.382) for the second consecutive game while holding the Nuggets to .381 on an NBA-high 113 field goal attempts from the field, but were outrebounded 65-54 resulting in 66 points in the paint for Denver to Golden State’s 42... The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson’s 23 points as he played a career-high 55 minutes while Carl Landry scored 17 of his 22 points between the fourth quarter and the extra periods... David Lee totaled 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in 48 minutes and Stephen Curry scored 12 of his 19 points after the third quarter... Danilo Gallinari started the game 0-for-10, but made eight of his last 12 shots to lead the Nuggets with 22 points while Kenneth Faried posted his fourth double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds and Andre Iguodala posted a near triple-double (19 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists).

November 23, 2012 | L, 91-102 | Pepsi Center | Denver, Colo.
A 15-0 run by the Nuggets to start the second half put the Warriors in a hole they couldn’t dig out of at the Pepsi Center, where they lost to the Nuggets despite having led at halftime … The Warriors lost despite outrebounding the league’s best team in that category (45-39), losing for the first time when winning the battle of the boards ... The first half saw nine lead changes and nine ties, but the Nuggets never let up once reclaiming the lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 31-17 in the third frame and 55-38 in the second half ... Denver tallied 58 points in the paint to the Warriors’ 34 and outran the visitors to a 19-7 advantage on the fast break ... Andre Iguodala had 29 points to lead the way for Denver ... Several Warriors found themselves in foul trouble, including Stephen Curry, who was held scoreless until the fourth quarter, when he became the sixth player in franchise history to hit 400 career three-pointers by sinking two triples ... David Lee tallied his sixth-straight double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Festus Ezeli grabbed a then-career-best 10 rebounds ... Carl Landry tallied 19 points and eight rebounds while then-season highs from Jarrett Jack (17 points) and Charles Jenkins (eight points) gave the Warriors bench a 44-24 edge.

In four games against the Nuggets this season, David Lee led the Warriors in scoring (23.3 ppg), rebounding (10.3 rpg) and steals (2.3 spg). (Ezra Shaw/NBAE/Getty Images)

November 29, 2012 | W, 106-105 | Oracle Arena | Oakland, Calif.
After trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, the Warriors staged a late-game rally, opening the fourth quarter on a 16-7 run in the first 5:41 of the fourth to take their first lead since the second quarter at 94-93 ... With 3.4 seconds remaining and Denver trailing by three at 106-103, Andre Iguodala was fouled attempting a three-pointer but missed the final of his three attempts before Denver received one last possession after Golden State tipped the ball out of bounds with just over two seconds remaining ... After failing to get a shot attempt and the Warriors knocking the ball out of bounds once again with 0.5 seconds remaining, Iguodala made a three-pointer as time expired that was overruled on replay, giving the Warriors the one-point victory ... The Warriors were led by the quartet of David Lee (31), Klay Thompson (21), Stephen Curry (20) and Jarrett Jack (18), who accounted for 90 of Golden State’s 106 points ... It was Lee’s first 30-point effort of the season (12th career) to go with nine rebounds and six assists while Curry finished with his 14th career 20-point, 10-assist game.

January 13, 2012 | L, 105-116 | Pepsi Center | Denver, Colo.
A 21-2 Nuggets run, which included 15-straight points, erased the Warriors’ largest lead (87-77) and gave the Nuggets a nine-point advantage (98-99) with 7:37 to play, which they extended to double digits while becoming the first team of the season to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit in a win against the Warriors ... Despite the Warriors shooting .518 from the field (.524 from distance), the Nuggets stayed in the game by getting to the line (27 attempts to the Warriors’ eight) and dominating the paint (58-32) ... A Warriors opponent season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter (37-18) helped the Nuggets protect their home court, where they improved to 14-2 this season ... Stephen Curry hit seven threes (7-of-9 3FG) en route to 29 points, David Lee recorded a league-leading 16th 20/10 game (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Harrison Barnes tallied a then-career-high 21 points (8-of-11 FG, 5-of-6 3FG) in the losing effort ... Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 21 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists, one of six Nuggets in double-figures ... With the victory, Denver won the season series 3-1 over Golden State.

Each of those four games had one thing in common: no Andrew Bogut. The Warriors’ center missed each of those four games due to injury, so his presence in the lineup certainly presents a wildcard in this series. Denver scored 52.6 percent of its points in the paint, an area that Bogut has been known to protect. But if Bogut is to have a big impact on the series, the Warriors will have to slow down Denver’s sometimes frenetic style of play.

Statistical leaders from the team's four regular season matchups
Lee – 23.3
Lee – 10.3
Curry – 5.8
Lee – 2.3
Curry – 18.5
Landry – 6.5
Jack – 5.5
Curry – 2.0
Thompson – 18.3
Biedrins – 6.0
Lee – 5.0
Biedrins – 1.0
Jack – 13.3
Ezeli – 5.3
Landry – 2.8
Jack – 1.0

Gallinari* –  20.5
Faried – 11.3
Lawson – 8.3
Iguodala – 2.3
Iguodala – 20.0
Gallinari* –  7.8
Miller – 6.3
Lawson – 2.3
Lawson – 16.0
McGee – 6.5
Iguodala – 5.0
Brewer – 1.5
Faried – 11.5
Iguodala – 6.3
Gallinari* – 5.0
Gallinari* – 1.0

* Denver's Danilo Gallinari is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

Likewise, the Warriors as a whole will need to prevent any Denver scoring binges from getting out of hand. Basketball is a game of runs, but Denver is especially apt at putting together quick spurts that can change the momentum of game in a hurry. Each of the three Nuggets victories over the Warriors this season were decided by game-changing runs that happened rather quickly, so keeping a 10-4 Denver spurt from stretching into a 21-6 run will be the key for the Warriors, although that can be a difficult task against a Nuggets team that went 38-3 at home this season.

Andrew Bogut will look to make his presence felt in this series after he missed each of the Warriors' four regular season games against the Nuggets. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

Another key for the Warriors in this series will be to not let the Nuggets run up the score at the foul line. Again, that’s easier typed than done, but Denver averaged more than 11 free throws per game during their four matchups with the Warriors this season, and the Dubs can help themselves tremendously by narrowing that gap.

Regardless of what happens in this series, it should be fun to watch. The action tips off Saturday afternoon in Denver, and for those in Dub Nation who have been waiting patiently for the last six years, the next 48 hours can’t come soon enough.

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