Warriors Start Hot But Finish Cold Losing to Denver 134-117

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, center, loses control of the ball as Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, left, and guard Jordan Poole defend in the first half at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Thu Feb 2, 2023 (AP News photo)

Warriors Start Hot But Finish Cold Losing to Denver 134-117

By Barbara Mason

After a tough loss last night in Minnesota, the Golden State Warriors (26-26) were back on the court against the top dog in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets (36-16). The Warriors were challenged by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

The Nuggets are the number one team in the league from downtown so threats on every side including on the defensive side of the ball. The Warriors made it close in the first half but the Nuggets came out in the second half with some great defense and as expected some great offense from Jokic and Murray in a 134-117 win for the Nuggets.

The Warriors would be without Draymond Green who was a late scratch with right calf tightness. Jonathan Kuminga started in place of Green. Klay Thompson was also out due to injury management.

The Warriors starting lineup was Kuminga, Kevon Looney, Andrew Wiggins, Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole. Golden State also leaned heavily on their bench.

Game recap: The Warriors edged the Nuggets in the first quarter 35-34. The Nuggets came back to win the second quarter by 36-34 in this tight game. Denver led at the half 70-69.

The Warriors had a great first half. Early in the second quarter they already had 11 shots from downtown. They finished the half with 13 shots from beyond the arc shooting at almost 62%. Six of those three’s came off the bench.

Donte Divincenzo was four of four from downtown. Golden State was playing as well as one could in hostile territory shooting at 55.6 from the field. They had also protected the ball in this game with only five turnovers.

In the third quarter the Nuggets began to distance themselves from the Warriors. They led after three quarters 105-91. The nine turnovers from Golden State in the third quarter was a huge reason in the turnaround. The Nuggets had a 16-0 run and Golden State had a huge task in front of them.

In the fourth quarter the Warriors were getting stops but did not capitalize on them. The Nuggets extended their lead and won this game. The Nuggets took advantage of a stagnant Warrior offense in the final quarters of this game.

The Warriors bench had 38 points collectively. The high score for Golden State was Curry with 28 points. Poole had 22 points and Kuminga playing in place of the injured Green had a great game with seven rebounds and 17 points.

The Warriors head home to Chase to take on another great offensive team, the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

Kings take second game on back to back nights 127-126 over Nuggets

Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland (3) guards Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Wed Dec 28, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings were back in action on Wednesday night in Sacramento. It was the second night of a back-to-back in which they played the Denver Nuggets both times. It is rare to have a team in your building for back-to-back games, but that is what happened this year with the Nuggets.

The Kings left a lot to be wished for in the first game. The Kings had a solid first quarter, but it was all downhill after that point. The Kings ended up losing the game 113-106. On Wednesday, the Kings looked to get revenge at 7 PM PST inside Golden One Center. The Kings edged out a close one on Wednesday night 127-126.

In the first quarter, things went right for the Kings. The Nuggets offense came out in full force as the Kings defense had no answer. The Nuggets dropped 40 points in the first quarter to start the game right where they left off on Tuesday. On the other hand, the Kings were only able to score 24 points to dig themselves an early lead. Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola were hurting the Kings early in the game.

In the second quarter, it was a tough road for the Kings. They started the quarter down 16 points and ended the quarter down 13 points. Injured Domantas Sabonis was playing well, all things considered. The Kings just couldn’t seem to contain the Nuggets offensive outburst.

The Kings kept it close in the second quarter and gave themselves a shot at a comeback in the second half. For the Kings to come back, they would need to get a big performance from Fox in the second half and contain the Nuggets on offense. Could the Kings pull it off on the second night of a back-to-back?

The Kings needed a quick start in the third quarter to tighten the gap with the Nuggets. They got just that. The Kings needed and got solid minutes to cut down the Nuggets deficit to only seven points. Would that hold? No.

The Kings would falter a bit more in the ending minutes of the third and would only outscore the Nuggets 32-30 in the third. The Kings had cut the deficit to 11 points through three quarters, but they would need a miracle fourth quarter to win the game.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings would have just that, a miracle fourth quarter. The Kings came all the way back from double digit deficits all game long to outscore the Nuggets 33-21 in the final 12 minutes. It was an incredible comeback to defy the odds against one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

The Kings managed to defeat the Nuggets 127-126 in a thriller. The Nuggets got an MVP level performance from Nikola Jokic who scored 40 points. For the Kings, De’Aaron Fox and Domas had 31 points behind leader Malik Monk who had 33 points.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the Utah Jazz on Friday at 7 PM PST.

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Eckersley’s grandson found in woods after being abandon by daughter; JJ Watt retires from football; plus more news

Alexandra Eckersley the daughter of former MLB pitcher and broadcaster Dennis Eckersley was booked by Manchester NH Police for endangering the welfare of a child on Tue Dec 27, 2022 (mug shot photo Manchester NH Police)

On Headlines podcast with Jessica:

#1 Former Boston Red Sox TV analyst and baseball Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley’s grandson was found by authorities in the woods after Eckersley’s daughter Alexandra gave birth in the woods and gave authorities a false location after looking for an hour in 18 degree weather Alexandra finally gave the real location and Eckersley’s grandson was found alive with hypothermia but alive his condition is reported to be improving. Alexandra who is reported to have mental issues is being charged for endangering the welfare of a child she will be arraigned Tuesday in Hillsboro Superior Court North in New Hampshire.

#2 The Arizona Cardinals JJ Watt has announced his retirement from football. Watt who played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans and the Cardinals. Watt leaves football as one of the most prolific defensive players in the game. Watt is one of just three players to be named Defensive Player of the Year three times in his career.

#3 The Denver Broncos top brass say that quarterback Russell Wilson is fixable despite his rough 2022 season. Wilson according to team owner Greg Penner and general manager George Paton said that they believe in Wilson’s future with the team. The Broncos who dropped to 4-11 and were bulldozed by Los Angeles Rams on Christmas day 51-14 are looking forward to working with Wilson again in 2023. The Broncos signed Wilson to a five year $245 million contract and pretty much are on the hook for it.

#4 The Buffalo Sabers were supposed to host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday but the game was postponed due to 50 inches of snow in Buffalo and the Buffalo airport is closed until Wednesday. The Sabers and Blue Jackets will reschedule the game for a later date.

#5 On Tuesday night the Sacramento Kings (17-14) who played at home against the Denver Nuggets (21-11) did so without the services of their head coach Mike Brown who was out for Covid 19 protocols and Domantas Sabonis who was out for right thumb fracture.

#6 The Brooklyn Nets continue to surge picking up their ninth straight win 125-117 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The Nets had top scoring from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who scored 32 points each.

Join Jessica for Headline Sports every other Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Nuggets come from behind to defeat Kings 113-106; First of back to back games

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) scores a basket while defended by Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter (9) in the first quarter at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Tue Dec 27, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings were back in action on Tuesday night. The Kings hadn’t played since Friday, when they took on the Washington Wizards in Sacramento. The Kings did not play well in their last game and looked to bounce back against one of the premier teams in the NBA. The Kings welcomed the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

The Nuggets were set to take on the Kings at 7 PM PST. However, the Kings were without star center Domantas Sabonis. Domas would miss the game on Tuesday and be listed as questionable moving forward with his hand issues. The injury is a big deal for the upstart Kings, as Domas has been playing at an All-Star level this year.

The Nuggets would be in town for two games with the back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Kings would lose the first game of the back-to-back 113-106 to Denver.

In the first quarter, it was all Kings. The Kings, even without star center Domas Sabonis, managed to score 32 points. On the other hand, the Nuggets couldn’t buy a basket.

The Kings solid good defense, coupled with the Nuggets poor shooting, amounted to an uninspiring 20 points for the Nuggets in the first. Harrison Barens led the way for the Kings with eight points as Michael Porter Jr. matched him for the Nuggets. The Kings would look to keep the pressure on in the second quarter.

In the second quarter, the Kings could have played better. The offense wasn’t flowing the same as in the first quarter. The defense also wasn’t as tight as in the first quarter. One thing the Kings did well in the first half was they contained Nikola Jokic. He ended the half with only two points.

On the other hand, MPJ picked up the slack on the offense. He torched the Kings in the first half with 19 points. Harrison Barnes led the Kings in the first half with 13 points. The Kings would have the first-half lead 56-47. The Nuggets outscored the Kings 27-24 in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, both teams were jarring for position. Neither team really got on a big run. In the end, the Nuggets would outscore the Kings 32-27 in the third quarter to continue to shrink the Kings lead.

The game was headed into the final quarter with the Kings leading 83-79. The Kings had been losing their lead slowly in the game and would need to stop the bleeding in the fourth to win the game.

In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets continued to pressure the Kings. The Nuggets completed the comeback early in the fourth and from there it was a question of who could play better the rest of the game. Unfortunately for the Kings, the bleeding never stopped and they would lose the game 113-106.

The Nuggets pressure amounted to outscoring the Kings again in the fourth quarter 34-23. Sacramento battled but could never regain the momentum and control they had in the first quarter. The Nuggets were led in victory by MPJ who scored 30 points. Nikola Jokic was a rebound short of a triple double and scored 20 points. De’Aaron Fox had 26 points to lead the Kings in defeat.

Up Next: The Kings will remain home for the second night of a back-to-back on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets at 7 PM PST.

King drop second game on homestand to Wizards 125-111 Friday

Washington Wizards forward Corey Kispert, second from left, drives to the basket past Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Fri Dec 23, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (17-14) were back in action on Friday night. The Kings last played on Wednesday night as they took on LeBron James and the LA Lakers at home. The Kings handled the Lakers with ease and looked to continue the trend on Friday. The Kings were set to take on the visiting Washington Wizards (13-21) at 7PM on Friday night. The Kings dropped the contest by the final of 125-111.

In the first quarter, the Kings started slow. The Kings offense got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter. They did manage to score 27 points in the first quarter. However, the Wizards scored 28 points with Bradley Beal leading the way with nine. Domas Sabonis led the way for the Kings with eight points.

In the second quarter, it was even worse for the Kings. The Kings offense couldn’t catch a break and the Wizards were running in the open court on offense. The Kings appeared lifeless on this Friday night and the Golden One Center crowd was audibly unhappy.

The Kings were outscored by a massive 40-23 in the second quarter to fall into a 18 point deficit headed into halftime. The Wizards could do no wrong on the offensive end shooting near 60% in the first half. The Kings would need a massive rally in the second half to come back 68-50.

In the third quarter, it was a much more even game. However, that is not what the Kings needed. In desperate need for a big quarter the Kings only managed to hang tight against the Wizards. The Kings scored 33 points in the third compared to the Wizards 34. The massive second quarter for the Wizards was holding strong for them up through the third. The Kings would head into the final quarter down 102-83. Would the Kings pull off a stunning comeback in the fourth?

In the fourth quarter, the Kings weren’t able to rally back. The Wizards continued to put the pressure on the Kings in the fourth quarter so squander any chance the Kings had at a comeback. The Kings managed to out score the Wizards 28-23 in the fourth but it was too little too late.

The Wizards had built such an insurmountable lead in the second quarter that they rolled to the victory 125-111. It was a disappointing loss for the Kings in front of a great Golden 1 Center crowd. Kyle Kuzma led all scorers with 32 points in the game to lead the Wizards to victory.

On the other hand, Domantas Sabonis had a triple double for the Kings and De’Aaron Fox finished with 26 points. It was a disappointing loss for the Kings, akin to the recent loss to Charlotte. However, the Kings will look to turn the page after Christmas.

Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at 7 PM PST.

Warriors second-half rally falls short lose to Nuggets 128-123

Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, right, passes the ball while defended by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) in first half action at Chase Center in San Francisco on Fri Oct 21, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors hosted the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center Friday night. The Warriors opened the season with a win of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. Denver lost its opener against the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. The Warriors just couldn’t hold on Friday night and were defeated by the Nuggets 128-123.

The Nuggets’ coach, Mike Malone, wanted his team to get on track by beating the Warriors. With two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic pacing the attack, the Nuggets had the firepower to upset the Warriors apple cart. The Warriors have one of the top defenses in the NBA.

Would they be able to stop the Nuggets’ firepower? The Nuggets answered the question in the first half of the game. After a high-scoring and hotly-contested first period, the Nuggets poured in 40 points in the first 12 minutes of the game to lead 40-34.

Denver led 30-29 when they went on a 10-5 run to finish the quarter leading by six. The Nuggets, not known for great defense, held the Warriors to 18 points in the second period to finish the first half leading 70-52.

Jokic paced the Nuggets attack with 14 points. Michael Porter, Jr. had 11. Stephen Curry had 13, and Andrew Wiggins ten for Golden State. The Warriors knew they had to catch fire in the second half if they were to get the win. They played hard. They won the second half 71-58 but could not catch Denver as they lost their first game of the season 128-123.

The game was decided in the second quarter. The Warriors second unit was not effective on defense, and the offense was nothing there. The Nuggets bottled up Jordan Poole. Poole scored two points in the first half. Warriors coach Steve Kerr could not insert Klay Thompson into the game as he is limited to about 20 minutes of playing time.

The other bench players added just 15 points. Denver’s bench tallied 26. Denver shot 59% from the floor and made eight threes in 14 tries. The Warriors shot 47% from the floor but made five threes in 22 attempts. 

The Warriors knew they would have to be at the top of their game in the third quarter. Denver increased the lead to twenty before the Warriors started their comeback. They clawed back to a seven-point deficit 86-79. The Warriors started making threes.

Klay Thompson made two, and Wiggins and Draymond Green each had one. Denver refused to wilt. They finished the third quarter leading 98-88. With the first unit on the floor, the Warriors made shots. Unfortunately for them, Denver made them, too.

Curry knocked down a three, and JaMychal Green followed with a two-point bucket to close within six points, 111-105, with more than four minutes left to play. Jokic kept attacking the Warrior defense.

The big guy made a bucket and was fouled. He converted the free throw, and Denver led 116-108. Curry answered with a three. Denver scored the next five points to lead by ten, 121-111. Curry hit another three, and Poole scored two to trail by five. Denver scored to lead 123-116. The Warriors trailed 124-121 after Draymond Green made a basket.

There was hope. Was there enough time? Poole made a huge play by stealing an inbound pass and scoring to bring the Warriors within a single point, 124-123. Denver went ahead 126-123 with 13 seconds left. Denver scored the last four points of the night to win 128-123. 

Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors are 1-1. Denver is also 1-1. 

The Warriors won the second half 71-58. Their offense came alive, but Denver had just enough offense in the second half to get the win. 

The Warriors had five players in double figures Friday night. Curry led the team with 34. Curry made five three. Wiggins had 23, Thompson 16, Draymond Green 13, and James Wiseman 11. Poole was held to seven points. Poole did record seven assists. The team shot 47% from the floor. The Warriors made ten threes in 22 tries in the second half. They were 15 for 44 for the night. 

The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic had a triple-trouble. Jokic had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists. Bruce Brown had 20, Kentavius Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter, Jr. each had 17 points. Pope made three threes, and Porter connected five times. Bones Hyland had 14, Aaron Gordon ten, and Jeff Gordon ten.

The Warriors have 123 points in both games played so far. One game they one, one game they lost.

The Warriors host the Sacramento Kings Sunday night at the Chase Center. The game starts at 5:30 pm.

The Warriors start the new season with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers 123-109

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left defends against the Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo, right on Tue Oct 18, 2022 at the Chase Center in San Francisco (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors started the season with a resounding win over the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night at the Chase Center. The final score was 123-109. The Warriors want to win their fifth championship in nine years. They lost four or five key players after the season ended. The Warriors added Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green to go along with James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody. 

The Warriors gave out their championship rings to the players before the start of the game. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was in the house to congratulate the players. The game was on TNT, and TNT had Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Ernie Johnson doing commentary.

The Warriors had guard Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney on the court to start the contest. The Lakers started LeBron James James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverly, and Lonnie Walker.

The first quarter started slowly. As it was the first game of the year, both teams were slow to get things going. The Warriors finished the quarter leading 25-22. Things heated up in the second period. The Warriors outscored the Lakers 34-30 to finish the first half with a 59-52 lead.

The Warriors were up by 11, but LeBron James made two buckets to cut the deficit to seven. Curry paced the Warriors with 16 points. Jordan Poole, leading the second unit, added ten. Anthony Davis had 15 for LA. LeBron added 14 and Westbrook 11.

As they have done so many times in the past, the Warriors dominated the third quarter. Thompson led the way as he tallied nine points early in the period. With the score 66-58, the Warriors went on a 25-4 run to lead 91-64. The Lakers fought back and made it a 91-71 game at the end of three. The Warriors outscored the Lakers 32-19

Los Angeles went on a 22-9 run in the fourth quarter. They trailed by 13 100-87. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called a timeout so that the Warriors could regroup. Curry and Wiggins led the offensive surge to put the game out of reach.

Wiggins made three threes, and Curry had a three, a deuce, and a four-point play to put the game away. The score was 121-104 with 1:52 left to play. Kerr allowed the bench players to finish out the game.

The Warriors played well on both ends of the court. They continued to shine on defense. They showed the NBA that they have a powerful offensive juggernaut. The fans went home happy, but was Kerr satisfied with his team’s effort? Coaches always say players have to improve.

Game Notes and Stats: The Warriors’ offensive stars were Curry, Wiggins,Thompson, and Poole. Curry finished with 33 points. Curry knocked down four three in 13 attempts. A couple of the threes came in the fourth quarter when the Lakers made a comeback.

Thompson, playing just 19 minutes, finished with a18 points. Thompson knocked down two threes. Wiggins had 20, and Poole had 12. Warrior bench players contributed too James Wiseman, JaMychal Green, and Donte DiVincenzo each had eight points. JaMychal Green and Wiseman each pulled down seven boards.

The Lakers had four players in double figures. LeBron paced the Lakers’ attack with 31 points and 14 rebounds. Davis had 27 points and six boards. Russell Westbrook had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kendrick Nunn added 13. The Lakers’ bench did not produce much Tuesday night.

The Warriors play Friday night again when they host the Denver Nuggets. The game will start at 7 pm at the Chase Center.

Warriors lose final preseason game to Denver Nuggets 119-112

The Golden State Warriors Patrick Baldwin Jr (7) takes aim against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco Fri Oct 14, 2022 (@warriors photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors hosted the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center Friday night and ended their pre season with a 119-112 loss to the Nuggets.

The Warriors were playing the fifth and final preseason game before the start of the 2022-2023 season. The Warriors, who won their fourth NBA title in the last eight seasons, will face the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night as they seek to win another crown.

Both teams had their projected starters on the floor to start the game. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Andrew Wiggins did not play last Monday night against Portland.

The starting five had to go against Denver’s big man Nikola Jokic, a two-time NBA MVP, Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown, Michael Porter, Jr., and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope. Jamal Murray, who missed most of last season with an injury, was not scheduled to play Friday night.

The Warriors did not play Moses Moody or JaMychal Green. Thompson did not play in the first four preseason games and was penciled in to play the first half.

The Warrior’s coaching staff wanted to see how Thompson, James Wiseman, and Jonathan Kuminga would do against the first string of the Denver Nuggets.

Both teams played well in the first quarter. Denver finished with a four-point lead, 32-28, after the first 12 minutes. Thompson knew he would shoot whenever he had his hands on the ball. The Warrior’s tried to get him open so he could take the shots. Thompson finished the first half with 17 points and made four threes.

The Warrior’s won the second quarter 36 -24 to finish the first half leading 64-56. The team played well. Kuminga and Wiseman did the bulk of the scoring for the Warriors. Curry, Jordan Poole, and Wiggins let Klay, Kuminga, and Wiseman carry the load. The Warriors led 64-56 after 24 minutes of play.

The third quarter was a different story. The Warrior’s increased the lead to 11. Denver, behind the play of Nikola Jokic, went on a 24-9 run to lead 83-78. The Warrior’s narrowed the gap to two, 86-84. Denver then went on a 10-0 run to lead 98-84. The Nuggets outscored the Warrior’s 42-20 in the third.

The Warriors let players fighting for a job on the team play the fourth quarter. The Warrior’s had Patrick Balwin, Jr, Ryan Rollins, Pat Spencer, Jerome Robinson, and Kuninga try to get the Warrior’s back in the game. The young players fought back and went on a 15-3 run to make it a seven-point deficit. The Nuggets did not fold as they cruised to the win.

Thompson, Kuminga, Wiseman, and Curry were all in double-figures. Jokic paced the Denver attack. The two teams meet again next Friday. This time the game will count. The Nuggets want to beat the Warrior’s as they lost to Golden State in the playoffs.

The Warriors will raise their championship banner before the start of the game with the Lakers Tuesday night. The players will receive their championship rings, too. The game will start at 7 pm.

Golden State Warriors podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Green trying to make practice perfect; Green makes first appearance since last week

Draymond Green addresses the media on Sat Oct 8, 2022 at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Green made a his first appearance at a team practice Thu Oct 13, 2022 and will be in the line up against the Denver Nuggets Fri Oct 14, 2022 for a pre season game (AP News photo)

On the Warrior podcast with Jerry:

#1 Golden State Warrior Draymond Green appeared in today’s practice his first appearance since he punched teammate Jordan Poole. Green had not been suspended and this was just a cooling off period and he is expected to be in the line up on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets.

#2 Jerry, was this a matter of Green getting a slap on the wrist and getting off lightly or is this a matter of Green coming back business as usual and things have pretty much calmed down.

#3 Warrior head coach said that this is the biggest crisis he’s had since he’s been coaching the team and he emphasized the team was not perfect.

#4 Green agreed to spend some time away from the club and Green and the Warriors agreed that one week was good enough. If Green was suspended he would have possibly not returned and if he voiced his disapproval on his podcasts the Warriors may not have wanted him back.

#5 The Warriors host the Denver Nuggets Friday night at Chase Center can the Warriors focus and will they be better for it with Green’s return or will they’ll be a certain amount of dissension between Green and his teammates over what happened?

Join Jerry for the Warrior podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com Thursdays

Warriors head into second round playoff beating Denver 102-98 at Chase

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) is defended by Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23), Andrew Wiggins, left, and Kevon Looney (5) during the first half of Game 5 at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Wed Apr 26, 2022 (AP News photo)

Warriors Head Into the Second Round of Playoffs Beating Denver 102-98

By Barbara Mason

The Golden State Warriors were primed and ready to put an end to the first round of the playoffs at the expense of the Denver Nuggets 102-98. Leading the series 3-1 the Warriors closed this out at Chase Center tonight. The Nuggets were playing for their playoff lives.

The starting lineup for Golden State included Stephen Curry for the first time since he was sidelined at the end of the season. Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole round out the starting lineup.The Warriors were focused on the slow footed Nuggets namely Nikola Jokic and DeMarcus Cousins.

Game 5 recap: As the first quarter came to an end the Warriors held a 30-25 lead. Nikola Jokic finished the first quarter three of eight with six points which was a win for the Warriors. Aaron Gordon was having a great start with 12 points to start the game and the Warriors would have to contain him somehow.

Curry had eight points to start the game and Wiggins, Poole and Thompson had six points apiece.

The Warriors ball movement to start the second quarter was keeping the Nuggets off balance. Poole was having a far better game than Game four shooting at 50% through the first and into the early minutes of the second. Mid-way through the quarter it was Denver’s Gordon that was keeping the Nuggets in the game. So far Jokic had not even factored in this game.

With under two minutes left in the half, the Nuggets took their first lead since early in the first quarter 46-45. The Nugget defense had gotten the Warriors off their game and Golden State was struggling offensively.

It was tied at 48-48 after two quarters of less than optimal basketball. In reality both teams struggled offensively in the first half and it was downright ugly at times. Denver and Golden State were shooting at 40%. Whichever team could get on track offensively would win this game. Close out games are never easy. The Nuggets dictated the pace of this game and the Warriors needed to disrupt this in the second half.

It was a slow start in the third quarter for the Warriors and Golden State was in deep trouble trailing by ten points. The Nuggets were executing their game plan to perfection and continued to dictate play. In the middle of the quarter the tables turned and the Warriors went on an 11-2 run and trailed the Nuggets by a single point 68-67.

Jokic had to sit out because of foul trouble and the Warriors were trying to take full advantage with him on the bench. As the third quarter came to an end the Nuggets had repelled the Warriors run and taken a 78-70 lead.

DeMarcus Cousins made a whole lot of noise in the fourth quarter. With Jokic on the bench to start the final quarter Cousins came in late in the third quarter and scored 19 points in 13 minutes. With 7:43 left in the game Jokic had five fouls.

The Chase crowd that had been relatively quiet for most of the game came to life in the final six minutes of this game with the Warriors leading 88-84. With two minutes left in the game the score was tied at 90.

The Nuggets would throw the ball away and Golden State would cash in courtesy of who else Steph Curry with a two point shot. It was crunch time at Chase. At 1:06 Gary Payton II hit a three and Curry the closer followed it up with a two point shot and the 99-94 lead.

Curry would hit three free throws for a final of 102-98. It was on to the second round of the playoffs, the Warriors the first in the Western Conference to advance . They will now get some much needed rest

“It’s the best time of year. I love this time of the year. It’s what we all go for. It’s physical, the referees let you bump a little more and that’s right in my wheel house,” said Green after the game. He finished with 11 points and quarterbacked his team to the win. “People are watching all over world and I cherish that and am looking forward to going on to the next round,” said Green.

Curry finished with 30 points. Gary Payton II was a huge part of this win with 15 points off the bench hitting a 27-foot three point jumper with 1-06 left in the game.

The Warriors await either Memphis or Minnesota and we can only hope for a seven game series in that one.