Stephen Curry has 30 in first start of playoffs as Golden State Warriors oust Denver Nuggets in 5

Stephen Curry has 30 in first start of playoffs as Golden State Warriors oust Denver Nuggets in 5
Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry dribbled through nearly the entire Denver Nuggets team before putting up the perfect teardrop layup to put the Golden State Warriors up with 30 seconds left in the game. As he came down, he looked at the audience and put both hands under one side of his head — signaling to the Nuggets that it was time to go to sleep.

That shot ended up being the dagger that put the Nuggets’ season to bed and propelled the Warriors to the 102-98 victory, punching Golden State’s ticket to the Western Conference semifinals.

The Warriors will face the winner of the Minnesota Timberwolves-Memphis Grizzlies series in the second round, with Game 1 happening as soon as Sunday.

But for the first 30 minutes of Game 5 against the Nuggets on Wednesday night, the Warriors looked lifeless. Chase Center was nearly dead. The uncertain and nervous energy in the air was palpable.

“For my purposes, Draymond [Green], Klay [Thompson], [Kevon Looney], we’ve all been there previously and know that inclination and love the opposition and the climate. It’s likewise an indication of like this – – this evening was only a peculiar inclination since we had not been there in some time. Once more, we needed it so terrible. Sort of made it significantly more troublesome on ourselves.”

At the 6:20 characteristic of the second from last quarter, Green hit a 26-foot 3-pointer to bring the Warriors inside six of the Nuggets. It gave them their underlying push to inhale life back into themselves and the structure.

“We went on a run and we slice it to one, and afterward they wound up pushing it back to eight. However, we knew not too far off that we had built up some decent forward momentum,” Green said. “We had the game at the speed we needed to get it at.”

The Warriors were down eight focuses when the final quarter began however outscored Denver 32-20 that period and outshot the Nuggets 63% to 53% from the floor to get the success.

The greatest change the Warriors felt themselves make was getting stops without fouling. Up until that point, the Nuggets had shot 23 free tosses to the Warriors’ 16.

“When we quit fouling, we had the option to get the game at our speed,” Green said. “It looked much more like Games 1 through 3, rather than Game 4.”

The other key change the Warriors made was going into a crate and-1 safeguard, at long last messing up the Nuggets’ offense. By getting stops without fouling, the Warriors had the option to push the speed and play on the move, rather than confronting a set Denver guard every belonging, driving them into their hostile cadence.

Curry scored 11 of his 30 places in the final quarter and scored or helped on 10 of the Warriors’ 15 shots in grasp time.

“I have such a lot of confidence [in Curry,” Thompson said. “A portion of the 3s he was it were fantastic to make this evening. And furthermore getting the edge, making the pocket pass. Steph Curry is an exceptional, extraordinary player, and you’ll presumably at no point ever see another player like him in the future.”

Game 5 was Curry’s initial beginning of the postseason, additionally denoting the initial time the Warriors’ freshly discovered deadly little ball arrangement was the beginning unit. The unit’s most memorable stretch endured only three and a half minutes before Looney checked in for Jordan Poole. But since of early fouling, the Warriors didn’t return to that mix a lot.

Thompson added 15 focuses, while Green had 11 places, six helps, three squares and a take.

The greatest huge advantage was Gary Payton II, who gave an instrumental lift off the seat.

“I don’t have any idea how to start on that one,” mentor Steve Kerr said when requested to portray what Payton brought to the game. “His safeguard in the final quarter was awesome. That is the reason I remained with him. However at that point he began thumping down 3s and getting to the edge for two or three layups. I thought he was only a colossal component in the game and he had the right to remain out there with the manner in which he was playing so we kept him out there the entire fourth, and he came through for sure.”

Payton wrapped up with 15 focuses on 6-of-8 shooting, including a totally open 3 to give the Warriors a truly necessary 86-84 lead as they entered the last stretch of the game. He hit one more 3 to put the Warriors up five with simply under brief left in the game.

After two blowout games in Games 1 and 2, and two squeaked out games — one win and one loss — in Denver, all the Warriors had to do was tie the bow on their first-round series against the Nuggets in Chase Center’s first closeout game.

Thompson went as far as to say Game 5 was a must-win game. Not in the sense that it was win-or-go-home, but in a way that was clear they couldn’t give this Nuggets team — that has made two improbable playoff comebacks before — any more life and go back to Denver.

They let the Nuggets stick around more than they wanted to in Game 5, but ultimately, they achieved their goal.

“Hopefully it’s the start of something great,” Thompson said. “We’re not satisfied obviously, but it’s something we can be proud of. Especially from the last two years being banged up and not having our whole squad together. Now that we are finally nearly whole, it’s such a great playoffs again and we look forward to the next round.”