Stephen Curry returned from a left ankle injury in the third quarter to turn in a brilliant 30-point performance, helping the Golden State Warriors even up the opening-round series with the Denver Nuggets after a 131-117 win at Pepsi Center on Tuesday night. Curry added 13 assists while rookie Harrison Barnes had a breakout performance and totaled 24 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Without injured forward David Lee, the Warriors used a three-pronged approach at guard to torch the Nuggets from the outside as Jarrett Jack drew the start in his place to team with Curry and Klay Thompson. They shot an incredible 64.6 percent from the field, the highest in franchise playoff history, and 56 percent from the three-point line.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson decided the best way to combat Denver's fast-paced offense was with more offense as Golden State allowed the Nuggets to shoot a strong 50 percent from the field.
Ty Lawson scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half for the Nuggets as the Warriors bottled him up in the final two frames. He added 12 assists and one steal to lead Denver. Andre Iguodala was shaken up in the first half, but managed to add 18 points.
The Warriors outrebounded the Nuggets, 36-26 despite not having Lee's double-double-making ability at their disposal. Carl Landry and Draymond Green provided solid minutes off the bench, finishing with 14 points combined.
There was a scary moment for fans in the Bay Area when Curry went down late in the third quarter after rolling his left ankle while trying to dribble out of a double team. After receiving treatment and walking it off on the sidelines, he was able to return and finish out a strong game.
The series, now tied at 1-1, shifts to Oakland, where the Warriors will host Game 3 on Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.