Steph Curry is drilling an outside shot; Anthony Randolph and JaVale McGee are yelling ineffectually. Even though they were on the bench, I’m still surprised those two Nuggets resisted the urge to jump way out of position trying to block the shot and then fall down.
Golden State Warriors : 131 : : Denver Nuggets : 117 — April 23, 2013 (GAME 2)
Basically the greatest team shooting performance you will ever see in the playoffs and there’s no way it could have come from anyone other than the Golden State Warriors. The box score says they missed a few at some point, but I honestly don’t recall one instance where they didn’t “tickle the twine.” Only three other playoff teams have ever shot better than their 64.6% since 1986 and the last time was in 1991, but none of those teams shot threes anywhere near as well or as often as the Warriors did tonight. With all the three-point records the team broke this season, everyone is discussing how much the league has changed over the years and this game fits that narrative perfectly while also honoring the tradition of scoring a ton of points. It’s the new classic.
There was just nothing the Nuggets could do to stop the rain though. I mean, look at that Stephen Curry shot over Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee. Sure the Nuggets had their defensive breakdowns and Golden State pushed the pace off of turnovers, but their shooting was just impossibru. The Nuggets were no slouches themselves, shooting 50% from the field, but the Warriors never let up and as time started running out, the Nuggets had to press a bit and it got sloppy.
It actually started that way too, looking a little like Game 1's molasses first half (no one should ever have to watch Kosta Koufos and Andrew Bogut post each other up), but things picked up quickly. The Warriors went on to score 35 points in each of the last three quarters, while four of their starters scored 20+ points: Curry with 30, Jarrett Jack with 26, Harrison Barnes with 24 and Klay Thompson with 21. This is a matchup that will inflate stats and even though Curry added 13 assists, I’m most impressed by Barnes. His reverse dunk was amazing and this is a career-high scoring performance by a rookie forward that started 81 games for a playoff team. Shout outs all around.
I still (STILL!) think Denver wins the series, but I didn’t expect the Warriors to pick up a win like this in Denver so that could change things substantially. Who knows, but it looks like the Nuggets will have their hands full. I can’t wait to see what happens in Oracle Arena on Friday.