Considering the nerves of Game 1, the relative silence of their stars, and being on the road, the Warriors are in good position down 28-25 entering the second quarter.
Point guard Stephen Curry went scoreless on two shots and forward David Lee was 1 of 4 with three turnovers in the opening period. But the Warriors got eight points from Jarrett Jack off the bench and five from rookie Harrison Barnes, making for a tight game.
The Warriors took the early lead despite getting little to nothing from their two leading scorers.
The Nuggets were adamant about denying Curry. Defended by Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson, Curry had an extra man coming his way (Wilson Chandler early) as soon as he got to the 3-point line area. He didn’t get his first look until 5:58 left in the first quarter, missing a runner off the glass from the left side.
But rookie Harrison Barnes and second-year guard Klay Thompson had their shot going early. Barnes got the Warriors started with a 3-pointer. After a Bogut dunk tied the game at 5, Thompson put the Warriors up 7-5 with a pull-up from the right side. Barnes hit another jumper to make it 9-7 three minute into the game.
Golden State led 12-11, on a layup by Lee, before the Nuggets took control of the game. Rookie guard Evan Fournier, who started in place of Denver forward Kenneth Faried, went straight at Curry and scored twice in the lane, the second time putting the Nuggets up 13-12. After Lee’s second turnover in as many possessions, Lawson drove past Thompson for a layup to put the Warriors down three.
Jackson, who usually lets the Warriors play through it, called a timeout.
Denver got up aas high as 18-14 after back-up center JaVale McGee beat Bogut and Carl Landry down the floor for an alley-oop dunk.
But the Warriors settled things. A 7-2 run, five of which came from the line, put Golden State ahead 21-20. Jack knocked down two jumpers in the final 1:16 to keep the Warriors close.