The Nuggets lost their third straight game 115 to 101 to the Warriors en route to a 3-1 deficit in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
This is Stephen Curry’s world; we’re just living in it. There’s no stopping him. There’s. Just. No. Stopping. Him. When the 25-year-old phenom flicks his wrist, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s the type of basketball bliss that leaves audiences in awe. Every dribble is planned. It’s the type of efficient movement that coaches love and basketball bloggers rave over. His floater is unstoppable. When he rises in traffic, you just assume it’s going in, regardless if he’s 8-foot-and-in or 15-feet away.
This is Curry’s year. And the Nuggets just happen to be in the way. He finished Game 4 with 31 points on 6-of-11 from downtown.
Poor George Karl — he’ll take most of the blame. Poor Andre Miller — we’ll continue to poke fun, call him senile, and say the series would be different if he didn’t play. Poor JaVale McGee — his regular season humor has turned into postseason hate. Poor Ty Lawson — his fantastic offensive series will be completely overshadowed by the guy opposite him. Poor Denver Nuggets — they were just a small obstacle in the big part of Curry’s overall master plan.
It’s not over; but it might as well be. The Nuggets will have to win three straight game against the hottest team in the NBA, one of those games in Oakland, where the Golden State fans are loud and have a belief that their Warriors are going to win every game in their building. If Andre Miller doesn’t have an outlier performance in Game 1, the Nuggets get swept. Think about that for a second.
Denver was dominated in the first half. The Warriors continued their hot streak early and Denver was unable to protect the ball, giving the ball away 14 times that led to 19 first half points for Golden State. Andrew Bogut, who was basically ignored by Denver defenders who were extended on the perimeter trapping ball-handlers, made the Nuggets pay shoot 6-of-9 from the field and dunking all over Denver’s entire defense multiple times.
Ty Lawson, whose 35 points, 10 rebound performance carried the Nuggets in Game 3
struggled with just 6 points and 3 assists on 2-of-7 shooting from the field in the first half. Golden State was attacking Lawson at the point of its attack and he was unable to make a difference on the defensive end. He finished the first half with a minus 13 performance.
The third quarter wasn’t any better for the Nuggets. Other than Ty Lawson going God-Mode for approximately four minutes, the Nuggets were outscored and continued to struggle defensively. Coach Karl put Andre Miller on Curry, and it went as one would expect: bad. Curry, the Nuggets worst defender, was getting absolutely destroyed by the league’s best 3-point shooter and the playoff’s hottest performer. Curry’s steal into a pull-up transition three was the stake through the heart of the Nuggets, who were left bloody and hopeless in a ditch.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. The Warriors continued to bury the Nuggets by creating turnovers and nailing 3-pointers. Richard Jefferson scored a bucket and Julyan Stone got minutes — so there’s that. Anthony Randolph and Old Man Dre both received technical fouls — it really was an implosion of the utmost sorts.
There will be a lot of question marks heading into Game 5 and at this point it’s tough to see any adjustment that George Karl could make actually changing the outcome of this series. The Warriors are hitting everything, spearheaded by the league’s best player at hitting everything. It’s looking more and more improbable that the Nuggets will dig themselves out of this hole.
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