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Warriors beat Nuggets, move on to Spurs
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 3, 2013 @ 9:03 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND – The Golden State Warriors weren’t content just making the playoffs.
They’re moving on in them, too.
Playing in what was the franchise’s second playoff appearance in 19 seasons, they hung on 92-88 against the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena and will now face the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. But they almost blew it.
The Warriors made the mistake of easing off the gas pedal with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, dribbling out possessions so as to wind time down while the listless Nuggets followed suit and finally came to life. Denver went on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 80-75 before the Warriors finally showed some pulse, then nearly pulled it during a wild final minute in which Golden State seemed to try every conceivable way to give the game away.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry had 22 points on 6 of 14 shooting and eight assists, but it was Golden State center Andrew Bogut that stole his spotlight with season highs in points (14) and rebounds (21) while adding four blocks. The Nuggets, who won a franchise-record 57 games this season but played in the postseason without small forward Danilo Gallinari, were led by small forward Andre Iguodala, who had 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
After trailing 41-24 in the second quarter, the Warriors surged ahead during a third quarter that bore some resemblance to the Game 4 game here in which Curry scored 19 points in a span of four minutes. He wasn’t quite that unconscious as Golden State took a 73-62 lead, but he was close.
He scored 16 points in the quarter while burying four three-pointers with his vintage silky style – a quick-trigger stepback from the left wing gave the Warriors their first lead since the opening minutes, a 26-footer after his pump-fake sent Ty Lawson flying by, a right-wing three and another from a nearby spot that came off an airborne touch pass from Draymond Green that belied his rookie status. But Curry had his playmaking hat on, too, finding Bogut for a … [For more on Warriors hang on to beat Nuggets, move on to Spurs, click here.]
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