NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 26th (All times Eastern)
(3) Denver Nuggets (1-1) at (6) Golden State Warriors (1-1), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Golden State Warriors will try to take command of their series against the Denver Nuggets Friday night when the action shifts to Oakland for Game 3.
The Warriors stole Game 2 in Denver, which was the first home loss for the Nuggets since Jan. 18. Golden State trounced Denver, 131-117 and set several records in the process.
Golden State shot a franchise-record 64.6 percent from the field and made 14 3-pointers, which was the most by an opponent in Denver postseason history. The 131 points allowed was a season-high for the Nuggets.
"We are a very good shooting basketball team," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We've got guys that can knock down shots. You talk about Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, in my opinion, they're the greatest shooting backcourt in the history of the game."
That may be a coach over-hyping his players, but there is some truth to that sentiment. Curry set an NBA record with 272 made 3-pointers and he and Thompson now own the record most long-range makes by teammates.
Curry had a double-double on Tuesday with 31 points and 13 assists. Thompson added 21 as the pair went 9-for-16 from beyond the arc.
When Lee was lost for the playoffs with a hip injury in Game 1, Jackson decided to go small and start Jarrett Jack in his place. The guard, who finished third in Sixth Man of the Year voting, chipped in 26 points and rookie Harrison Barnes was the fourth player over 20 points with 24.
The Nuggets, who led the NBA in scoring, need to improve on defense to have any chance of winning this season.
"I think we were all embarrassed how we played defense," Denver head coach George Karl said. "Watching film two or three times, it's a mystery on some of the things we did, the thoughts and processes of what happened. I think the priorities are well established and they're getting stronger. We need a bounce-back game, especially on defense."
Denver's chances of that happening will improve somewhat as Kenneth Faried is expected to return to the starting lineup Friday night. He missed Game 1 with a sprained ankle and came off the bench in Game 2.
Faried, the team's best rebounder, could replace either Evan Fournier or Wilson Chandler in the starting lineup.
"I'm not telling," Karl said.
Six Denver players scored 14 points or more in Game 2, led by 19 apiece from Ty Lawson, who also handed out 12 assists, and Corey Brewer. Andre Miller, the hero of Game 1, and Andre Iguodala each had 18 and Chandler and Anthony Randolph scored 14 each.
If not for Miller's last-second layup to win Game 1, Denver could be staring at an 0-2 deficit.
"I don't think we've played a good game yet," Karl admitted. "I'm confident. My team has always responded at a high level when they've been kind of embarrassed or stepped on a little bit."
The Nuggets split the two meetings in Oakland this season, but have dropped three of their last four at Oracle Arena.
Game 4 is slated for Sunday night.
04/26 10:39:14 ET