There were two Western Conference Game 5s on Tuesday night, with the Denver Nuggets living to fight another day against the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies pushing the Los Angeles Clippers to the brink. Let's look at the action.
Nuggets 107, Warriors 100
The Nuggets returned home and stayed alive by beating the Warriors, 107-100, in a tension-filled affair that featured several hard fouls, a couple of technicals and some nuttiness afterward.
Andre Iguodala put forth his finest performance of the series, scoring 25 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out seven assists. Both Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler added 19 points for the Nuggets, who regained dominance of the paint in the victory. Denver scored 50 points in the paint to just 24 for Golden State.
Denver controlled the game from the start, bolting out to a 20-point halftime lead. The Nuggets led by 19 early in the fourth quarter before the Warriors went on a big surge, making it a five-point game on several occasions. But Denver was able to hold on.
Harrison Barnes had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead Golden State. Stephen Curry struggled with 15 points on 7-of-19 shooting, and things got worse after the game when he got into it with a Nuggets fan. On top of that, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson claimed that Denver sent "hit men" to get Curry, a notion the Warriors' star agreed with. Whatever actually happened, Game 6 just got a whole lot more interesting.
Grizzlies 103, Clippers 93
After going down 2-0, the Grizzlies won their third-straight game over the Clippers, 103-93. And making matters even worse for Los Angeles, Blake Griffin left the game in the third quarter with a high ankle sprain and is questionable for the must-win Game 6.
Griffin was hobbled throughout the game with the injury, which allowed the Grizzlies' frontline to feast on Los Angeles. Zach Randolph had 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Marc Gasol had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Mike Conley added 20 points and six assists.
It was the Clippers who actually started off strong, scoring 28 points in the first quarter. But the offense faltered over the next two quarters, and after falling behind by six at halftime, Los Angeles could not get back over the hump. The Clippers had the deficit at four several times early in the fourth quarter, but they were never able to get closer than that.
Chris Paul tried to singlehandedly keep the Clippers in the game, scoring 35 points on 11-of-24 shooting. Jamal Crawford was the only other Clipper in double-figures with 15. Griffin had just four points on 2-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes before leaving with the ankle injury.