The 2013 NBA playoff series between the Denver Nuggets (57-25) and Golden State Warriors (47-35) will begin on Saturday, and plenty of things have changed since the two teams met up for four regular season contests. The Nuggets won three of those four games, but the head-to-head series wrapped up in January and since then Denver has dealt with injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson. Now it appears that Kenneth Faried could miss Game 1 of the playoff series due to an ankle injury.
Golden State's lone win over Denver in the regular season came in a wild one-point game marked by four late replay reviews and a three from Andre Iguodala that was waved off at the buzzer. For a closer look at that contest and the rest of the head-to-head matchups, here's a glance back at each game.
Nov. 10, 2012 | Nuggets 107, Warriors 101 (2OT)
This was a double-OT thriller that cut against Golden State as they sputtered down the stretch and went scoreless over the final 2:47 of the second extra period. Gallinari scored a team-high 21 points and Kenneth Faried added 18 points and 17 rebounds as Denver scored 66 points in the paint despite shooting just 38.1 percent from the field on the evening.
Nate Parham of Golden State of Mind summed up the deciding factors well in his recap:
In a tight game, little things can assume great significance and winning the battle of the boards was where the Nuggets found the edge on a night when neither team shot the ball well in the first half.
The Nuggets' athleticism, height, and force of will was just overwhelming on a number of plays around the basket and when the Warriors had players not boxing out it just hurt them that much more. Where the rebounding really took on greater significance in a closer game was during the 10 minutes of overtime when the Nuggets just had more energy on the offensive boards and outscored the Warriors 6-0 in second chance points, which was exactly the kind of thing I was afraid of coming into the game.
Nov. 23, 2012 | Nuggets 102, Warriors 91
Two weeks later they met for a second time, and again the Nuggets played a physical brand of basketball that wore down the Warriors -- marked by a 31-17 third-quarter run. Ty Lawson played aggressively, took the ball to the cup and wound up with 18 points, nine assists and two steals to show for it. Andre Iguodala had a terrific game, as he dropped 29 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks on the Warriors.
Stephen Curry didn't score a single point until the fourth quarter, and even then he didn't get on the board until the 3:21 mark in the game. His line of six points on 2-5 shooting and four turnovers in 26 minutes was one of his worst of the season.
Nov. 29, 2012 | Warriors 106, Nuggets 105
Six days after going down 2-0 in the season series, the Warriors bounced back in dramatic fashion with a one-point win the came within fractions of a second of being another loss to Denver. Iguodala played well again (22 points, four assists, three steals), and Stephen Curry got his mojo back (20 points, 10 assists).
This one got crazy down the stretch, so start the video around the 2:00 mark and see for yourself.
Jan. 13, 2013 | Nuggets 116, Warriors 105
The Nuggets got into the paint again against Golden State and scored 58 points in that zone of the floor. They were particularly good in the fourth quarter, as noted by in the game recap at Denver Stiffs:
A whole big old bucket of easy buckets. Check out this shot chart from the fourth quarter for Denver ...
Made = 0, Miss = X
The above shows that Denver was 11-15 inside the paint in the final quarter - as a team they were 14-20 from the field and 2-3 from three point land. It was raining buckets. Kenneth Faried dunks, Miller layups, and Danilo Gallinari bombs. Corey Brewer was a perfect 3-3 in the period and led the team with 9 points in the fourth. C-Brew would finish with 13 points and his fellow bench-mob boys would also lend a hand in bench scoring.