This should have been a celebration for the Golden State Warriors, but a last second turnaround jump shot from Kenneth Faried sunk the Warriors 100-99 at Oracle on Thursday night.
The Denver Nuggets came out to play against the Warriors, as they did not want to witness a playoff-clinching celebration. The Nuggets fought all the way back on the efforts of Timofey Mozgov and Faried, who both played an outstanding game. Mozgov had the monster statistical line of 23 points and 29 rebounds, and Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried added 18 points and 17 rebounds.
The biggest reason for the Warriors loss tonight was the sheer fact that the Nuggets just absolutely dominated the boards as they out-rebounded the Warriors 63-38. The Warriors just could not keep up with the Nuggets intensity and just seemed to be playing in slow motion compared to the Nuggets.
The first half seemed to be under control for the Warriors as they jumped out to a substantial 44-24 lead in the second quarter. Then everything changed. Nuggets Coach and Oakland product Brian Shaw challenged his team in a timeout and he Nuggets went on an 11-0 run towards the end of the first half.
Denver kept their hot streak in the second half, and midway through the fourth quarter took their first lead of the game. The Warriors just could not seem to gain any emotional advantage, and the Nuggets were fierce in attacking the basket and gaining the rebounding edge.
All-Star guard Steph Curry tried to put the team on his shoulders towards the end of the game and carry the Warriors to victory. Curry was able to score the last 6 points for the Warriors, including a driving finger-roll lay-up to put the Warriors ahead 99-98 with just 4.7 seconds remaining.
The Nuggets were able to get the ball into Faried at the top of the key; he made two moves over Draymond Green and hit the game winning turnaround jumper with just .5 seconds remaining. Curry threw up a desperate heave at the buzzer that went off line, and the Nuggets left Oracle with the victory.
Curry led the Warriors offensive effort with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Klay Thompson added 21 points in the losing effort.
The Warriors will have to get over this loss quickly as they travel to Los Angeles to battle the Lakers.
Notes: David Lee remains on the sidelines for another game with his hamstring injury and is questionable to play in any games until the postseason…. If the Warriors are able to defeat the Lakers, they will clinch back to back postseason births for the first time since the ’90-’91, ’91-’92 season