Game 1: Nuggets 97, Warriors 95

The Warriors slowed down the Nuggets transition game. They kept Denver leading scorer Ty Lawson in check. They held high-scoring Denver 11 points below its average.

But Golden State suffered a 97-95 loss to the host Nuggets on Saturday because it had no answer for Andre Miller.

The Nuggets veteran point guard converted the game-winning layup in the final seconds, negating the biggest shot of point guard Stephen Curry’s career, and breaking the Warriors hearts. Miller scored 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to thwart Golden State’s upset bid.

It was dramatic end and a riveting start to a series most expect to be highly entertaining. The Warriors, who led by as much as nine, came from eight points down to nearly steal Game 1.

The Warriors may have lost more than the opener though. Forward David Lee was knocked out of the game with a probable hip flexor strain and didn’t return. His status for Game 2, on Tuesday in Denver, is uncertain.

Curry finished with 19 points and nine assists, but he needed 20 shots and he turned it over five times. Lee had just 10 points on 4 of 14 shooting with four turnovers before he went down.

But the Warriors had a shot to win because of a stellar game from center Andrew Bogut, who had nine points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists. He anchored a defense that held the highest-scoring team in the regular season to 44.7 percent shooting. The Warriors also got 22 points from Klay Thompson to pick up the slack.

The game was tied at 81 before Golden State’s offense hit a cold spell. The Warriors went 3:22 without a point. During that stretch, Miller took over. He scored six of the Nuggets next eight points as Denver built an 89-81 lead.

The Warriors answered with a 3-pointer by Thompson. Then in a one-minute stretch, Bogut blocked two shots and converted two layups, the Warriors trailed 91-88 with just over two minutes left.

Miller answered with another jumper, but on the Warriors’ next possession rookie Draymond Green converted a putback. Golden State got a stop, and a pair of free throws by Jack with 1:14 left made it a 93-92.

The Warriors got the ball back after another stop. But Curry, swarmed by Nuggets defenders, was stripped by Lawson, who converted a fast-break layup on the other end.

But Curry redeemed himself. He capped a helter-skelter possession with a game-tying 3-pointer from the left corner with 14.5 seconds left. That turned out to be too much time.

With rookie forward Draymond Green, one of the Warriors best defenders on him, Miller went straight to the rack and converted the reverse layup with 1.5 seconds left.

The Warriors, who had no timeouts left, couldn’t get a desperation heave off.

The rest of the Nuggets struggled. Lawson finished with 12 points on 15 shots. Forward Wilson Chandler needed 16 shots to get 11 points. And Denver played Game 1 without starting forward Kenneth Faried (sprained ankle).

Marcus Thompson

  • earl monroe

    It was Miller not Lawson who hurt them, he looked like Oscar Robertson out there, Miller has really been the catalyst for them the last 12 games of the season, Miller will continue to hurt them, especially in the half court sets, the Warriors hung in there, Bogut looked really good, Klay Thompson is on his way to being a very very good player, perhaps Jackson could have gone back to the zone he employed so well earlier? This is going to be a good series even if David Lee doesnt come back

  • Dave

    David Lee’s hip 0
    Denver 1

  • young

    been saying this for months. We need to trade david lee. Dont know what happened to the guy bc was ballin but considering he wont defend, lets move his 4-14 behind. Someone else can get the boards (bogut had 14)

    Team looks great for nxt year otherwise bc barnes and Klay are KILLING IT!


  • jimmysj408

    They should double team Miller and make him pass the ball.

  • Dave

    When Lee first went out the first time they were up by 5, and Lee didn’t play the last quarter. Curry, Landry and Jack also had bad games. But let’s blame Lee.

  • young

    lee has been average at best since the all star break.

    And makes at least $8MM more per year more

  • jimmysj408

    they lost because of curry with 2 bad turn overs at the end of second and four quarters not lee

  • Dave

    Pre all-star 10.9 rebounds. Post all-star 11.5. Points went down slightly from 19 to 17.5 That’s not average. The only reason he makes more than Curry is because he is older.

  • Dave

    They would hve won today if David Lee didn’t have that hip injury in the 4th.

  • Dave

    Without Lee it would have been like the Knicks game at MSG. Chandler going off for 20 points and 30 rebounds, and Barnes with 2 other starters COMBINING for 12 points and 7 rebounds.

  • Dave

    If you think you’re a better team without Lee I will disagree. He has been the second best player on this team and they had a great season. Bogut can protect the rim, lets see how many points he gives up on the fast break and he is the worst pick and roll defensive player I have ever seen. Lee was on his way to 20 rebounds yesterday and Chandler wasn’t scoring. Hope I am wrong but I bet you see the Warriors get killed on the boards (on Tues) and yesterday we out rebounded them.