Nuggets bounce back, trim series lead to 3-2
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DENVER — Kenneth Faried brought the energy, and the Denver Nuggets rediscovered their toughness in time to stave off elimination Tuesday with a 107-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The Nuggets slowed down Golden State's guards, jump-started their transition game and got under Andrew Bogut's skin in Game 5, jumping out to a 22-point lead before weathering the Warriors' frenetic fourth quarter rally.
Game 6 is Thursday night in Oakland. Golden State leads the series, 3-2.
Andre Iguodala had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Ty Lawson had 19 points and 10 assists, and Faried had 13 points and 10 boards.
Stephen Curry, whose 18 3-pointers were the most by any player in NBA history in the first four playoff games of his career, went ice cold, missing his first five 3-pointers before finally hitting with 5:09 left to pull Golden State to 96-91.
He finished 1 of 7 from long range and scored 15. Harrison Barnes led Golden State with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Faried responded to Curry's sole 3-pointer with an alley-oop dunk, helping to settle down the Nuggets, who had much of their lead wither away during Golden State's 11-0 run bookended by Klay Thompson's jumpers early in the fourth quarter.
Curry and Thompson missed back-to-back 3s that would have made it a two-point game with less than two minutes left, and Wilson Chandler's 3 seconds later at the other end made it 103-95.
Faried capped his night with an alley-oop dunk from Andre Miller before fouling out.
Faried had seven points, eight boards and a big block in the first half as the Nuggets raced out to a 66-46 halftime lead by finally playing their brand of basketball to avoid, at least for now, another early exit from the playoffs.
The third-seeded Nuggets finally played in the postseason like they did in the regular season, when they were the league's best transition team on their way to an NBA franchise-most 57 wins.
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