Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets (-8, 207)
Nuggets lead series 1-0
The first three quarters of Game 1 were all about a pair of young teams
getting their feet wet in the playoffs. The final period was when both
the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors really came alive. The
Nuggets will try to take a commanding 2-0 lead when they host the
Warriors in Game 2 on Tuesday. Golden State battled back in the fourth
quarter despite losing David Lee early in the period and will have to
figure out a way to win without him going forward.
Lee, who was
the team’s lone All-Star and led the league in double-doubles during the
regular season, went down with a hip injury in Game 1 and is expected
to miss the remainder of the playoffs. The veteran forward was playing
his first career postseason game and had helped the Warriors gain an
advantage on the glass with 14 rebounds in 29 minutes before exiting.
With Lee out of the paint, Andre Miller took over in the final quarter
for Denver. The veteran point guard scored 18 of his 28 points in the
final frame and drove for a layup with 1.3 seconds left to give the
Nuggets a 97-95 victory.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Golden State), Altitude (Denver), TNT
ABOUT THE WARRIORS:
An MRI taken after the game on Saturday revealed a torn right hip
flexor for Lee, ruling him out for the rest of playoffs. That leaves a
big hole in the frontcourt for Golden State, which had thrived with Lee
working alongside Andrew Bogut. Those two helped the Warriors build up a
55-45 rebounding advantage in Game 1. With Lee out, Carl Landry will
likely move into the starting power forward spot, tightening the defense
a tad but shortening the bench and leaving the team without its best
inside scorer and weak-side rebounder. Golden State could put even more
of the offensive burden on the backcourt trio of Curry, Klay Thompson
and Jarrett Jack. Curry went 1-for-10 in the first half on Saturday but
finished with 19 points and nine assists and helped the Warriors score
31 points in the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer with 14 seconds left tied it at 95. Golden State was the top 3-point shooting team in the
regular season but struggled to 8-for-22 from beyond the arc in Game 1
and will need to pick that pace up to survive without Lee.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS: Denver
will be looking to take full advantage of Lee’s absence with the return
of Kenneth Faried, who missed Game 1 with a sprained ankle. Faried
averaged 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in the regular season and is one
of many Nuggets able to finish strong on the break and battle in the
paint. Denver leaned on Miller in the fourth quarter and the veteran
rewarded that trust with strong play on both ends of the floor. Miller
led a reserve corps that totaled 49 points, helping to make up for a
less impressive effort from the starters. Point guard Ty Lawson was held
to 12 points on 6-of-15 shooting and four assists. The Nuggets went
38-3 at home during the regular season and were counting on their team
athleticism to wear the Warriors down in the fourth quarter. Getting
Faried back should help Denver push the pace right from the start on
* Warriors are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following a loss.
* Over is 4-1 in Nuggets' last five overall.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Denver.
* Nuggets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
1. The Warriors are 3-18 in 21 games without Lee over the last three seasons.
2. Golden State turned the ball over 18 times in Game 1, leading to 18 points for the Nuggets.
3. Faried has averaged 11.7 points and 10.9 rebounds in seven career games against the Warriors.