Game 3: Warriors vs. Nuggets - 4/26/13


« Playoff Central

(GSW Leads Series 2-1)
The Warriors took a 2-1 series lead on Friday after defeating the Nuggets 110-108 in their first game back at an eardrum-shattering Oracle Arena. Stephen Curry was HUGE for the Warriors, registering a double-double with 29 points and 11 assists. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry both had tremendous games, scoring 23 and 19 points, respectively. Harrison Barnes added 19 points and 7 boards, and Andrew Bogut chipped in 6 points and 9 rebounds. The Warriors will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when they host Game 4 on Sunday. Game 3 Reaction Blog
Mark Jackson
On the crowd tonight:
“The crowd was off the chart. There’s nothing like something being as good as advertised. They were loud. They were consistent and we fed off of them even when we didn’t match their intensity in the first half. The great thing about it is that when you are a part of an environment like this, you want more. It was a great job by the fans and I’m awfully proud of our guys.”
On his team getting their edge back:
“We never lost it. We struggled, we’re a young basketball team and we certainly struggled. We lost five or six in a row. One thing I did after losing six in a row is I had my video guys take each player and ask them about making the playoffs and being successful. Because it’s easier to answer that question after winning six or seven in a row, but not when you’re facing adversity. We struggled at times, but we’re a team that works extremely hard, we’re tied together, we compete, and we’re a defensive minded team. When you make defense your primary focus, you’re going to be in ball games. That’s what happened, especially in that second half which was a thing of beauty. We gave up 42 second half points because we locked in and we competed.”
On being a young team:
“We are a young basketball team. This is a new experience for us and we’re going to make mistakes during the process. Turnovers, five second violations, carelessness, bad shots, what we went through last year and during the course of this year has put us in position to finish ball games. There was a point in time where if we did not score on the last possession or turn the ball over on a five second violation, where we would panic. We got into the huddle we said ‘this is how we win ball games, on the defensive end. Let’s go get a stop.’ I’m so proud of my guys because at that time, I’ve been a part of teams that are pointing the finger and panicking, wondering who made the mistake. My guys, without saying a word, said ‘Let’s get a stop.’ It was a big time win for us.”
On Draymond Green:
“I’m so glad for him because people probably thought I was crazy for putting him in down the stretch in Game 1 to guard Andre Miller. Andre Miller is a big time player and made a big time play. Like I said after that game, Draymond Green is a competitor. We’re going to trust him. He has an incredible IQ for the game of basketball. He battles, he competes and I thought he gave us great energy, he rebounded and defended. He’s the type of guy whose energy and effort is contagious and he gave us a spark.”
Stephen Curry
On the playoff crowd being a factor:
“A little on defense a couple of times when we were trying to brace for a pick-and-roll. Our bigs do a good job of being vocal and loud but after an offensive basket or something that might happen to get the crowd going it was tough to hear. We had some miscommunications at times but we got better as the game went on adjusting to the atmosphere and I think it showed in the second half once we started to pick up defensively.”
On how his ankle feels:
“It feels good. I’m just thankful to be able to get through the game without having any incidents so I’ll continue my treatment and hopefully it will feel even better come Sunday.”
On being able to make adjustments:
“After three games you’ve got a good feeling of what adjustments or what they might throw at you. We’ve seen a lot of different looks from trapping us when we come to half court to switching pick-and-rolls, to almost every look on defense you can think of. We’ve just got to make the right plays and not turn the ball over is the best thing for us to do to try to continue this lead in the series. They’re a great fast break team. If you give them fast break baskets they show you how lethal they can be.”
On skipping practices:
“We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. It might be the case. I’ve done that in the past where you have a game every other day and you stay locked in to adjustments. Mentally you do what you have to do to rest your body. You feel 100 percent for the next game but it all depends on how I feel tomorrow and we’ll make that decision.”
After putting on a scintillating shooting display in a 131-117 victory in Denver in Game 2, the Warriors return home to Oracle Arena having stolen home court advantage from the Nuggets. Game 3 begins on Friday with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 P.M., and you can bet it’ll be quite the entertaining affair with both teams keen on grabbing control of the series. The game will be broadcast on CSN Bay Area, ESPN 2 and KNBR 1050. For full details and in-depth coverage, make sure to check out Warriors Playoff Central.
Fans planning on attending the game should be aware that dual events will be taking place at Oracle Arena and O.Co Coliseum. The Warriors will tip off their game with the Nuggets at 7:30 p.m., while first pitch of the A's-Orioles game is slated for 7:05 p.m. Fans are asked to be aware of increased traffic and congestion around Oracle Arena and O.Co Coliseum before and after the game. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. at the arena, and fans are encouraged to use public transportation to get to and from the game. Additionally, all parking lots will be open by 4 p.m. MORE IMPORTANT GAMEDAY INFORMATION
When David Lee was lost for the remainder of the postseason to a torn hip flexor, many national pundits wrote off whatever slim chances they had originally attributed to the Warriors to winning this series. After all, not only was David Lee the Warriors first All-Star this season since 1997, but his 56 double-doubles during the season were far and away the most in the NBA. So how would the Warriors manage to survive against an extremely deep Nuggets team without one of their most important players? By giving Denver a taste of their own medicine. Jarrett Jack, who started in Lee’s place, was tremendous in Game 2, scoring 26 points and dishing out seven assists. Carl Landry was his usual steady self with nine points and four boards in 17 minutes off the bench, and Draymond Green added a momentum-swinging three-pointer and some tough, tenacious defense. As discussed in the most recent edition of Bloggers Roundtable, no single player was ever going to be able to match the production that Lee brings to the table each night. But, with contributions from several members of the supporting cast, the Warriors were able to fill the void left by Lee and wound up with one of the most impressive offensive performances in NBA playoff history. That trend will need to continue if the Warriors hope to upset the Nuggets, who know very well what it’s like to be without a key contributor at a crucial time after losing Danilo Gallinari to a torn ACL just days before the regular season ended. BLOGGERS ROUNDTABLE: SERIES SURPRISES
After combing for 51 points and 15 assists and missing only 13 shots in Game 2, Mark Jackson’s recent comments about Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson forming the best backcourt shooting tandem of all-time has been a hot media topic in the days since. Regardless of where your opinion lies, there’s no denying that those two can shoot the lights out of the building. Curry very well may be the best individual shooter to ever play the game, as evidenced by his new NBA record 272 three-pointers this season. Thompson was no slouch himself, racking up 211 of his own, good for third-most in the league. Not only did the Splash Brothers become only the second set of teammates in NBA history to both score over 200 treys each, but their 483 total was 28 more than the previous single-season record of 435 three-pointers by teammates set in 1995-96 by Dennis Scott (267) and Nick Anderson (168). Hall-of-famers Jerry West and Gail Goodrich might have something to say about Jackson’s comments, but it’s never a bad thing to be mentioned in the same discussion as those greats. If Curry and Thompson can carry over their success to Game 3, the Warriors have a great shot at gaining their first lead in the series.
All season long, Harrison Barnes has shown glimpses of the promise and athleticism that prompted the Warriors to select him with the seventh overall pick in last year’s draft, but never quite like he did in Game 2. For stretches in the second half, Barnes absolutely took the game over as he relentlessly attacked the rim off the dribble, unintimidated by whichever long defender had been assigned to guard him. Even more delightful to the Warriors was the efficiency with which he produced his new career-high of 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. And let’s not forget the absurdly athletic reverse jam he threw down on Anthony Randolph, which left no doubt as to who was the best high-wire act on the floor. At only 20 years old, he plays with a poise not common to most rookies in only their first set of playoff games. However, his inconsistency has also been highly indicative of his age. There’s no denying that he has the talent to be a consistent contributor at this level, but he has yet to put together a long string of games in which he displays it. The Warriors are hoping his breakout in Game 2 is the start of something special, and if it is, Denver is going to have their hands full with the Black Falcon.
For Game 2, it was Mark Jackson who was getting all the questions about how his lineup would be altered after coming off a loss. Now, it’s George Karl’s turn for Game 3. It was apparent that the small-ball lineup the Warriors went with in Game 2 caused significant problems for the Nuggets’ defense, as evidenced by the 131 points Golden State dropped on them, and Karl has already expressed that he’ll be making some sort of adjustments as he attempts to get his team back into the driver’s seat in this series. What those adjustments will be are anybody’s guess, but he has a few options. For one, he could go small himself and play his two point guards Ty Lawson and Game 1 hero Andre Miller next to eachother to match up with the likes of Jarrett Jack and Stephen Curry. Or he could go the complete opposite direction and insert Kenneth Faried in Wilson Chandler’s spot at power forward, hoping to capitalize on the Warriors’ relative lack of frontcourt depth without the injured Lee. Chances are it will be one of those two possibilities, but even more likely is that we see both. As stated many times, Denver’s biggest strength lies in their depth and their ability to put several different productive lineup variations out on the court. They’ll rely on that same strength that helped them earn the third seed in the West in Game 3, and the Warriors better be prepared for the Nuggets’ best shot, particularly in the beginning of the game when Denver will surely attempt to set the tone and get out to a fast start.

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) is probable. Danilo Gallinari (left ACL tear) is out. Timofey Mozgov (left thumb fracture) is day-to-day.


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