Apr 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets shooting guard Wilson Chandler (21) and small forward Kenneth Faried (35) double team Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli (31) in the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets ride momentum into Oakland for Game 6

It’s not the situation most expected, but the Nuggets will again fight for their very lives Thursday night in Golden State’s backyard. Denver was handled rather easily in Oakland in Game 3 and Game 4.

Ty Lawson’s 35 point, 10 rebound performance in Game 3 but wasn’t enough to get past four Warriors scoring 19+ points. Stephen Curry’s 31 points in Game 4 sunk Denver and it looked like the series was over. But the Nuggets refused to go out on those terms. They stole back momentum from the Warriors in Game 5 behind gutsy performances from everyone who touched the floor.

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The Nuggets–who played much more physical in Game 5– were accused by Mark Jackson of taking cheap shots at Stephen Curry. A lot of debate has been broadcasted on ESPN and argued around the Internet of whether Denver played dirty in Game 5. Mike Prada, of SBNation, presented a very well documented video review of the game, pointing out at the end that the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut had been playing dirty the whole series.

Honestly: who cares?

It’s playoff basketball. Players are going to toughen up with more stakes on the line. Dirk Nowitzki has been bullied in the playoffs his entire career. It’s the reason the Miami Heat won the championship in 2006. But he toughened up, fought back and became the icon who exacted revenge on the Heat in the 2011 finals. The only thing this back-and-forth exchange of Nuggets and Warriors does, is heighten the excitement and intensity for Thursday night’s game.

Denver better be prepared from the start in (R)Oracle Arena, because once the crowd gets in the game, they’ll be in it for the entire game. Especially with the controversy that Mark Jackson stirred up in Game 5’s post-game conference. The crowd at Oracle will be even louder than they were in Games 3 and 4.

Quick thoughts:

  • If Steph Curry is in the game, Miller shouldn’t be. Miller can’t stay with him at all. Curry’s eyes light up when he says Old Man Dre opposite him.
  • The Curry-Iggy-Chandler-Faried-McGee starting five played well. Look for George Karl to stick with this lineup until McGee goaltends a shot into the Pacific Ocean.
  • Iggy’s confidence should be at an all-time high with how he played in Game 5. He should take the assignment of guarding Curry for most of the game.
  • Watch the battles in the paint. Especially after all of the “cheap-shot” talk leading up to this game. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone responds.

JaVale McGee’s post-game gem:

“If we are playing dirty then they are playing unsanitary.”

The basics:

  • Where? Oracle Arena – Oakland, California
  • When? 10:30 ET – TNT

Series stats:
Denver Nuggets

Totals Shooting Per Game
Rk Player Age G GS FG% 3P% FT% MP PTS TRB AST STL BLK
1 Ty Lawson 25 5 5 .466 .235 .862 38.6 22.2 3.0 8.4 1.6 0.0
2 Andre Iguodala 29 5 5 .534 .429 .684 40.2 16.8 7.8 5.2 2.2 0.4
3 Andre Miller 36 5 0 .456 .714 .760 25.7 15.2 3.4 4.0 0.2 0.0
4 Corey Brewer 26 5 0 .333 .290 .667 25.5 12.6 1.8 1.4 1.0 0.0
5 Wilson Chandler 25 5 5 .373 .348 .750 33.9 12.2 6.4 1.0 1.0 0.6
6 Kenneth Faried 23 4 3 .682 .833 29.1 10.0 7.8 0.3 1.3 0.3
7 JaVale McGee 25 5 1 .583 .429 17.3 6.8 4.2 0.0 0.4 1.0
8 Anthony Randolph 23 5 0 .818 .727 6.0 5.2 1.2 0.0 0.4 0.0
9 Evan Fournier 20 4 4 .353 .000 .875 13.3 4.8 0.0 1.0 0.5 0.0
10 Kosta Koufos 23 5 2 .357 1.000 15.9 2.8 3.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
11 Julyan Stone 24 2 0 1.000 6.4 1.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0
12 Jordan Hamilton 22 1 0 .000 1.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Team Totals 5 240.0 106.0 37.6 21.8 8.8 2.8
Golden State Warriors
Totals Shooting Per Game
Rk Player Age G GS FG% 3P% FT% MP PTS TRB AST STL BLK
1 Stephen Curry 24 5 5 .474 .422 1.000 39.5 24.8 4.4 9.6 2.2 0.2
2 Jarrett Jack 29 5 4 .576 .333 .909 40.1 20.0 5.4 7.6 0.6 0.6
3 Klay Thompson 22 5 5 .507 .414 .500 40.1 16.2 3.4 2.2 0.6 0.8
4 Harrison Barnes 20 5 5 .475 .462 .833 35.3 15.6 5.6 1.2 0.8 0.6
5 Carl Landry 29 5 0 .500 .842 21.5 13.6 3.8 1.0 1.0 0.4
6 Andrew Bogut 28 5 5 .607 .200 25.3 7.0 8.2 1.4 0.8 2.0
7 Draymond Green 22 5 0 .667 .500 .667 15.3 5.6 3.4 1.4 1.0 1.0
8 Festus Ezeli 23 5 0 .833 .600 10.1 3.8 2.2 0.0 0.2 1.0
9 David Lee 29 1 1 .286 .500 29.0 10.0 14.0 2.0 0.0 1.0
10 Richard Jefferson 32 4 0 .500 1.000 .250 5.1 1.5 1.0 0.3 0.0 0.3
11 Scott Machado 22 2 0 1.000 2.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
12 Kent Bazemore 23 4 0 .000 .000 .000 2.2 0.0 0.8 0.3 0.0 0.0
13 Dwayne Jones 29 2 0 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Team Totals 5 240.0 110.2 40.8 25.2 7.2 7.0

Fan predictions:

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Lawrence Torres @220LTorres

Nuggets 115 Warriors 110

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Thiarles @ThiarlesCopero

108-101. Nuggets victory.

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Jon Reid @JawnReid

#Nuggets 108, #Warriors 105 #Game6 #LetsGoNuggets #DigIn

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Robert Palmer @RobPalmerUSA

114-106 Nuggets victory

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Logan Marada @LoganMarada

110-100 DEN, we have to hold GS on breaks and not let Curry get hot. Miller will have to play physical on guards like in game 1

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Dalton Grandon @Daltongrandon

Den-110 GS-95 and if they didn’t cherry pick with curry Den-110- GS-50 lmao.

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Laurie @LaurieLynn10

Nuggets 107 Warriors 100 #GONUGGETS

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Paul Cox @26Cox [Winner right here]

nuggets 427 GSW 14

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❤✪ Alex Mendez ✩✞ @DoseOfSmoke

Nuggets 102 Warriors 99

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Jamar Hinds @jamarbh

Denver 106, Golden State 103

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Tags: Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors JaVale McGee Mark Jackson NBA Playoffs Preview

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