The Nuggets fell behind the Warriors after leading throughout the first half, trailing by as many as 18 after the third quarter. But Golden State had ten fourth-quarter turnovers, coughing up what looked like a sure victory. Two free throws by Kenneth Faried with 32.4 seconds left brought the Nuggets to within two.
Following a timeout, the Warriors committed yet another turnover on the inbounds pass. Denver pushed the ball up court, but Wilson Chandler missed two shots at the rim that would have tied the game. Golden State recovered the ball and Jarrett Jack eventually made two free throws to ice the game.
Things started off on the right foot for Denver. Ty Lawson had a game-high 12 points at the half, asserting himself on the offensive end and getting open looks against a Warriors defense that wasn't challenging him. While Denver struggled to score effectively outside of Lawson, shooting only 34 percent from the field, they controlled the offensive glass and had 13 first-half offensive rebounds.
Denver held Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry to a combined nine points through the first half. They made no three-point field goals in the first half. But after controlling the game through the majority of the first two quarters, they allowed the Warriors to get back into the game and the difference was only two points going into halftime.
Then, the momentum changed in the third quarter. After the teams went back and forth to open the third quarter, Curry took control. His first three of the game turned the crowd up a notch, but his second three on the following possession had Oracle Arena erupting. More importantly, the Warriors had their biggest lead of the game thus far, going up six points.Curry followed that up with a third three, and to put a bow on his takeover stretch, he drove and dished to Andrew Bogut.
Curry was playing great basketball in the third quarter after being a non-factor to start the game, putting in 14 points. The Nuggets' fundamentally sound defense that had bogged down the Warriors' offense had broken down as Curry took control of the game. At the end of the third, it was the Warriors looking at an 11-point lead.
The Warriors outscored Denver 33-20 in the third quarter. The Nuggets had fallen behind, the sound defensive work they executed through the first half was thrown out of the window and the Warriors had the momentum. Golden State never looked back after the momentous run sparked by Curry, and now they'll look ahead to the next round of the playoffs.
Denver struggled from the field, shooting only 35 percent. While they had 13 first-half offensive rebounds, they had only six more through the second half. The extra chances they needed to stay ahead of Golden State earlier were gone, and so were the Warriors.
Even with the Nuggets tightening their defensive grip on Golden State in the fourth quarter, their inability to generate offense made it a tough hill to climb. Still, Denver brought the Warriors 18-point lead down to four with four minutes remaining. The Nuggets hounded the Warriors to the end, down by as little as two with ten seconds left. Denver's desperation wasn't enough to overcome the third quarter from Golden State, though, and the Warriors held onto the victory.
Andrew Bogut played big for Golden State, scoring 14 points, blocking four shots and pulling down 21 rebounds. Curry finished the night with 22 points and eight assists. Thompson had a quiet night, making only three of his 13 field goals.
The Nuggets were led by Andre Iguodala's 24 points. JaVale McGee had ten rebounds and nine points. Lawson started off the night hot, but was not aggressive in the second half and finished with 17 points.
An entertaining series has come to an end. The Warriors will advance to face the systematic Spurs, and the Nuggets are off to evaluate their roster through the summer.