Denver At Golden State
When: 9:30 PM
ET, Sunday, April 28, 2013
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
A sore left ankle and anything the Denver Nuggets threw at him defensively could not slow down Stephen Curry in Game 3. Curry will try to lead the Golden State Warriors to a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series when they host the Nuggets in Game 4 on Sunday. Curry suffered a left ankle sprain in Game 2 and was a game-time decision before Game 3 but made it into the starting lineup and collected 29 points and 11 assists in the win.
Denver has been beaten at its own game in the last two contests, as the Warriors have crashed the paint and gotten out in transition in back-to-back victories. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson nearly got the better of Curry in Game 3 with 35 points and 10 assists but made the key turnover in the final seconds that allowed Golden State to close it out. The home crowd in Oakland was fired up for the first home playoff game since 2007 on Friday and should be in top form again for Game 4.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, Altitude (Denver), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE NUGGETS: Denver stole Game 1 on Andre Miller’s last-second drive but was thoroughly beaten in Game 2 when the Warriors went to a smaller lineup. The Nuggets countered with their own smaller unit in Game 3, pushing Kosta Koufos to the bench and re-inserting Kenneth Faried into the starting lineup. Wilson Chandler and Faried served as the big men for most of the night, spreading the floor to open drive-and-kick lanes for Lawson. Denver nearly pulled off the victory with that strategy but could not overcome some key turnovers down the stretch. “There was a lot of good tonight,” Nuggets coach George Karl said after Game 3. “I told the team after the game, ‘the process of the NBA playoffs is to get better. We got better tonight.’”
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Things looked bleak for Golden State after David Lee was lost for the playoffs with a torn hip flexor in the fourth quarter of the Game 1 loss. But the Warriors regrouped by moving Jarrett Jack into the starting lineup and catching fire from long range in Game 2. Curry, who continued playing after rolling his left ankle in the third quarter of Game 2, got treatment between games and made the start in Game 3. The star guard had no trouble moving around early and put the Warriors on his back in the fourth quarter, driving to the hoop of a left-handed hook shot over Faried on one possession and taking Corey Brewer into the lane for a floater on the next to help Golden State maintain its slim advantage. The pace of the contest did lead to some trouble holding onto the ball, and the Warriors gave up 30 points on 23 turnovers.
1. Curry joined Oscar Robertson (1962), Kevin Johnson (1989) and Chris Paul (2008) as the only players with at least 78 points and 33 assists in their first three playoff games.
2. Denver Cs Koufos and JaVale McGee combined for just four points in 25 minutes in Game 3.
3. Golden State G Klay Thompson went over 20 points in each of the first two games but slumped to six on 3-of-10 shooting in Game 3.
PREDICTION: Warriors 115, Nuggets 108
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
101.6 Points For
101.4 Points Against