Game 2: Warriors at Nuggets - 4/23/13


« Playoff Central

(Series Tied 1-1)
SERIES TIED! The Warriors evened up the series at one game apiece on Tuesday, defeating the Nuggets 131-117 on the road in Denver. Stephen Curry put on yet another shooting clinic, scoring 30 points (including four treys) and dished out 13 assists. Klay Thompson added to the #SplashBrothers performance with 21 points and five three-pointers of his own. Harrison Barnes set a new career high with 24 points, including a ridiculous reverse two-handed jam, while Jarrett Jack added 26 points and seven dimes after starting the game in place of the injured David Lee. Game 2 Reaction Blog
Mark Jackson
On his decision to go with the three guard lineup:
“The initial reaction was to put Carl [Landry] in the lineup all day yesterday. aI was by myself just thinking about matchups, thinking about adjustments and really, it hit me when [the reporters] asked me who was starting and I began to tease saying ‘Jarrett Jack at the power forward, I don’t know, it could be anybody,’ and all of the sudden, my mind started wandering. Yesterday I came to my coaches, I said, ‘Am I crazy to start Harrison [Barnes] at the four? Somebody talk me out of it.’ And they all just smiled and co-signed it and I knew it was the right thing. It doesn’t matter who starts; I have a tied together team that I am incredibly proud of. Harrison Barnes, for a rookie, hasn’t been getting the respect that he deserves. A rookie that starts for a number six seed all year long, defends and doesn’t kill you with numbers, but does everything the right way. It was just an incredible performance by the whole group.”
On Stephen Curry's contributions tonight:
“He made shots. I thought in game one, he missed shots. It’s a make- or-miss league. I thought our big guys did a very good job of setting screens and creating opportunities for him and he was aggressive. The guy is a big time player and he put on a phenomenal performance tonight.”
On why they were so successful at keeping Nuggets away from transition points:
“You’ve got to make a conscious effort to do that; that’s a heck of a basketball team that is extremely well-coached. You’ve got to make the conscious decision to get back in transition. They have hurt us in the past with bad shot selection, with turning the basketball over and they make you pay the price so we have to be disciplined. We’ve done a very good job of doing that. The series is far from over. We’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for them and they are more than capable of coming into Oracle and beating us. So we have to relax and then get back to work. ”
Harrison Barnes
On the high-efficiency of the offense:
“We just tried to be aggressive. We just tried to feed off of each others energy. Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] getting going early and me and [Jarrett] Jack chip in and help, we just kind of feed off of each other.”
On if the energy is contagious:
“No question. Steph and Klay do it every night, if we’re able to add and help them with that, we’re hard to beat.”
On starting at power forward:
“That was a game-time decision. That was my first time playing forward all season. Coach [Jackson] just told me to go out there and be aggressive, I’m obviously going to make some mistakes, just stick with it. That’s what I tried to do.”
On sensing frustration from the Nuggets:
“A little bit. We know they made a lot of good runs in the first game at the end of the second quarter and third quarter we were just trying to key in on those and make sure we close down quarters; close down halves and stick to the game plan.”
On bringing the series home tied 1-1:
“Obviously we’re happy but you can’t get too happy on the farm. [Denver] has only lost three games at home all season and for us to have a close game the first game and close out this game meant a lot to us and hopefully we’ll just take care of business at home.”
On when he found out he would start at power forward:
“Right when we were about to go out Coach said, ‘H you’re going to play the 4 [power forward],’ so I said, ‘oh, alright.’ I really wasn’t briefed about it. I was kind of charged at the moment, he said I would make some mistakes, just stick with it and just play it out.”
On sovercoming adversity throughout the season:
“Ever since the Brandon Rush injury we just kind of banded together and got closer as a team. We’ve had situations when we haven’t had Steph, we haven’t had David before and we try to pull together. I think this was a real testament of us being close together as a team tonight.”
On his reverse dunk:
“I was a young Richard Jefferson that play. I was trying to be aggressive I got up there; I didn’t really know what to do. I just tried to get it to the rim and I just happened to dunk it.”
Stephen Curry
On the importance of winning this game:
“It was a big win for us. All factors taken into account with [David Lee], shorthanded, we wanted to get this win and go back to Oracle with the 1-1 split with the home court advantage. It’s a big win for us; everyone stepped up. Huge games by Jarrett [Jack] and Harrison [Barnes]; Klay [Thompson] had an extremely efficient game. Defensively, Draymond Green coming off the bench got some huge minutes for us so everyone contributed and that’s how we have to play the rest of the series without David Lee.”
On his ankle injury:
“It is sore. It’s a normal ankle sprain and I’ve dealt with it plenty of times, just the other foot. I don’t see any concern going forward to Friday night so I’ll receive my treatment and be back.”
On playing as the underdog:
“We have had no expectations on us from the start. Nobody picked us to make the playoffs, nobody picked us in this series. I am sure it was even more of a serious pick for them to not take us when David Lee went down so we have to stand. We understand that we don’t have many expectations outside of our locker room. We are a confident, resilient team that has bounced back from tough games before and we’ll do it again and we have that mentality coming in so there is no reason why that would change come Friday.”
After a heartbreaking 97-95 defeat in Game 1, the Warriors have a chance to even the series on Tuesday when they take on the Nuggets in Denver for Game 2. Stephen Curry did his best to work his way out of a shooting slump, sinking a crucial game-tying three-pointer with 14.2 seconds left, but the Warriors had no answer for Andre Miller, who scored two of his 18 points in the fourth quarter on a lay-up with 1.2 seconds remaining in the game. David Lee, who left the game in the fourth quarter due to injury, is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a torn hip flexor. That’s a huge loss for the Warriors, but they’ll have to find a way to overcome the disheartening loss if they hope to even the series at one apiece. Game 2 will tip off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and be broadcast on CSN Bay Area, TNT and KNBR 1050. WARRIORS PLAYOFF CENTRAL
Losing their lone All-Star David Lee after his first career playoff game certainly hasn’t made things easier on the Warriors. With 56 double-doubles during the regular season, he confirmed his reputation as an elite post scorer, and had plenty to do with the Warriors flipping the scripts on their way to becoming the best defensive rebounding team in the entire league. Yet, none of that matters now. With their backs against the wall, Golden State must find a way to replace the production of their impressive power forward against a Nuggets squad that ranked first in the NBA during the regular season in offensive rebounding rate. It won’t be easy, but the Warriors don’t really have any other options. Carl Landry is the top candidate to fill the void, and he was fairly impressive in Game 1 as he was all season long, racking up 14 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. It will be awfully hard to replace everything that Lee brings to the table, but if Landry and a combination of reserves can find a way to come close, the Warriors still have a decent shot at evening the series. Read more in our recent blog entry: Warriors Prepare to Play Without D. Lee
Stephen Curry had a rough start to his first ever playoff game, missing his first nine shots on his way to a five-point first half. However, he responded in the second half, sinking his first five shots, and displayed the shooting prowess that Warrior fans have become accustomed to. He did a great job of orchestrating the offense while his troubles persisted, racking up nine assists throughout the course of the game. However, in order for the Warriors to be successful, it’s apparent that he must find a way to be a more consistent threat as a scorer. It was obvious the Nuggets were intent on limiting his chances, blitzing him at every opportunity, sometimes with multiple long defenders. In order for the Warriors to have a shot at tying things up, he and Mark Jackson will have to find a way to free him for more good looks, at which point, it will be on him to find the bottom of the net. Read more Game 2 expectations in the Bloggers Roundtable.
Heading into the series with a bundle of injuries to crucial players, it was unknown which Nuggets player would be called upon to step up in crunch time. Well, question answered. Andre Miller scored 28 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, as he dominated whichever Warrior was matched up against him throughout the entire game. The savvy veteran exhibited the poise and desire you would expect of a long-time NBA veteran, and the Warriors will need to find an answer to the problems he poses if they expect Game 2 to have a different result. Read more on Denver's depth in our Warriors-Nuggets Series Breakdown.
Klay Thompson certainly picked a good time to play some of his best basketball of the season. Over the last eight games, including Saturday’s playoff loss in Denver, the second-year guard is averaging 21.9 points per game while making 69 of his 141 shot attempts (48.9 percent) and going 21-for-43 (48.8 percent) on 3-pointers. Thompson, a popular candidate to become a breakout star among the Bloggers Roundtable, was one of the few offensive bright spots for the Warriors on Saturday, and he responded well in the post when he became the team’s premiere option with a smaller defender on him. If Thompson can continue to take advantage of potential mismatches, he may force the Nuggets into re-thinking their defensive strategy. BLOGGERS ROUNDTABLE: PREDICTING A STAR

Injury Report
GSW: David Lee (torn hip flexor) and Brandon Rush (torn ACL and MCL, left knee) are out. Scott Machado is on assignment with Santa Cruz in the NBA D-League.

DEN: Kenneth Faried (left ankle sprain) and Timofey Mozgov (left thumb fracture) are day-to-day. Danilo Gallinari (left ACL tear) is out.


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