Golden State Warriors : 95 : : Denver Nuggets : 97 — April 20, 2013 (GAME 1)
This ended up a thriller, but it didn’t start out that way. At the half, it was a pedestrian 48-44 because Golden State did a good great job of getting back off of their misses (of which there were plenty) and Denver couldn’t do much in the half court. Had Curry not struggled with his shot early (7-of-20 overall for 19/4/9), it would have been much worse. He took on a playmaking role during that tough stretch though, his teammates stepped up (well, Klay Thompson did) and they took a lead at the half.
Things picked up in the second on both ends for both teams and it got significantly more exciting. This really was a game of runs with Denver taking the first and third quarters and Golden State takings the second and fourth, but Andre Miller made the game-winning play, driving in for the layup against Draymond Green with 1.3 seconds left. Stephen Curry tied it at 95 with a big time corner three just seconds before, but not even he could hit the full court heave at the buzzer. It seemed like everyone got a chance to play a feature role in a run at some point, but Andre Miller was huge all game, seemingly otherworldly in the fourth, and finished with 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting with 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Doris Burke was probably blushing after this one because she was just gushing about him all night.
Andrew Bogut was also incredible with just 9 points, but 14 rebounds and 4 blocks, locking down the paint for most of the fourth. Had the Warriors won, I think he would’ve deserved the game ball because of that effort. The blocks were huge, but the rebounds might have been bigger because of the injury to David Lee, who left in the fourth with a “probable right hip flexor strain.” Depending on the severity, that could be a huge blow for the Warriors. I’m not a doctor or an MRI machine so that remains to be seen though.
As disappointed as I am in the Nuggets, I’m more impressed with the Warriors. With the game on the line, they did what they shouldn’t (turning it over, settling for tough shots and giving up the paint), but for most of it, they did the right things to stay competitive. I’m not sure they can do it enough to actually win, but it looks like they can definitely do it enough to challenge the Nuggets and that’s worth a bit of faith.
Denver Nuggets lead the series 1-0