NBA playoffs: Warriors finish off No. 3 seed Nuggets

2013-05-03T00:00:00Z NBA playoffs: Warriors finish off No. 3 seed NuggetsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

OAKLAND, Calif. - Stephen Curry had 22 points and eight assists, Andrew Bogut broke out with the best performance of his injury-saddled season, and the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Denver Nuggets with a 92-88 victory in Game 6 on Thursday.

Bogut had season-bests and career-playoff highs of 14 points and 21 rebounds, and rookie Draymond Green added a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds to power Golden State into the second round for the first time in six years.

"It's very emotional for me because I've had a nightmare of a year," said Bogut, who added four blocks and three assists in an unforgettable performance after rehabilitating his left ankle most of the year.

The Warriors went ahead by 18 points early in the fourth before holding off one final Nuggets flurry.

Former Arizona Wildcat Andre Iguodala scored 24 points, and Ty Lawson had 17 in another disappointed early exit for Denver, which has lost in the first round nine of the past 10 seasons.

The Nuggets won 23 of their final 26 regular season games to earn the Western Conference's third seed, then lost four of six to the hot-shooting Warriors.

"We didn't lose this series tonight. This is a proud loss," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We lost this series in Game 1 and 2. We didn't play well enough to sustain the confidence. We won Game 1 on a last-second layup. In Game 2, we gave away everything we worked for with 57 wins in the season. And that's on me."

Golden State only outshot the Nuggets 40.3 percent to 34.7 percent in the finale but dominated the rebounding matchup again, 55-44. The Warriors overcame 21 turnovers - including 10 in the fourth - while the Nuggets only had seven.

Golden State will open the second round at San Antonio on Monday. The Spurs swept the Lakers.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson ratcheted up the rhetoric after the Nuggets won a physical Game 5, saying Denver sent "hit men" out to take "cheap shots" at Curry.

The accusations earned Jackson a $25,000 fine from the NBA for an "attempt to influence the officiating," though neither side ever got out of control in the finale.

Except Curry's shooting - again.

On the ball or off the dribble, Curry connected all over his home court in another dazzling second half. Curry swished all four of his three-pointers in the third quarter and brought the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 roaring each time.

He also dribbled behind his back and through his legs, crossing over Lawson and zipping a pass through traffic to Bogut for a thunderous dunk.

Curry added a one-handed pass off the dribble to a cutting Carl Landry, who finished for a three-point play over Wilson Chandler, flexed his arms above his shoulder and belted out a roar from the floor to give Golden State a 64-53 lead.

Green made a corner three in front of Denver's bench, and Klay Thompson hustled for a rebound and a quick put-back to put the Warriors up 80-62 with 9:11 to play.

Today's games

• Knicks at Celtics: 4 p.m. on ESPN, Knicks lead series 3-2

• Pacers at Hawks: 4 p.m. on ESPN2, Pacers lead series 3-2

• Thunder at Rockets: 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, Thunder leads series 3-2

• Clippers at Grizzlies: 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2, Grizzlies lead series 3-2

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