Choke artists, can’t handle the pressure, only a good regular season team, need an all-star to win the playoff games. All these could and truthfully could be said about the Denver Nuggets this postseason. Denver laid another egg, in a disheartening and downright ugly ugly loss to the Golden State Warriors 115-101 Sunday night in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs.
Now or never, crunch time, those were the words coming out of Nuggets practice coming into Game 4 on Sunday night. The Golden State Warriors leading the series 2-1 in the best of the seven playoff matchup had everything going for them.
The start of Game 4 was more of the same. The Warriors started the 1st quarter shooting lights out once again and pulled out to a quick lead. Denver was able to force 5 turnovers was really the only bright spot. After the 1st, the Warriors were up 25-21 thanks mostly to shooting over 50% and the Nuggets were in the low 40′s.
The 2nd quarter was again unfortunately more of the same as the Warriors were just playing smarter basketball than Denver. Making the right passes at the right time and knocking down their shots and they increased their lead throughout the 2nd quarter. The 2nd quarter increasingly got ugly for Denver as they accumulated 10 turnovers in the quarter compared to the Warriors single turnover. An 11-0 run to end the quarter for the Warriors didn’t help matters at all.
At halftime, in a reverse of Game 3, the Warriors were up 12. Andrew Bogut led the warriors with 12 pts and Miller and Iggy each had 11 pts for Denver. The 3rd quarter started brightly as Denver or more truthfully Ty Lawson came out on a mission to bring the Nuggets back. Sadly, it seemed like he was the only Nugget willing.
So many mistakes on defense and the absolute lack of any down low presence made Denver’s chances very slim. The Stephen Curry show would begin midway through the 3rd as he was draining shots like no tomorrow from three-pointers to tear drops. Denver can’t stop him, period. George Karl even put Julyan Stone in the game to try and slow him down. Bottom line, Denver couldn’t get enough stops or score enough and after the 3rd, they were down 91-72. Curry had 22 pts and the final 12 for the Warriors. The 4th quarter was more of the same and the best the Nuggets could muster up was to cut the lead to 13. The final was never much in doubt as Golden State won 115-101. Stephen Curry led all scorers finishing with 31 and Jarret Jack had 21. Ty led the Nuggets with 26.
Denver now down 3-1 in the best of seven series will have to win the next 3 games to advance in this year’s NBA Playoffs. Game 5 is Tuesday back at the Pepsi Center. I can only hope the Nuggets show pride and heart in Game 5 on Tuesday.
Come on Nuggs, watch Rudy, watch Miracle, something! Play damn Denver Nuggets basketball that gained you so many fans and respect throughout the season.
Just as Sammy said, it’s really now or never for the 2013 Denver Nuggets. Last year, down 3 games to 1 to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets went on to force a Game 7, but lost that game in LA. The Nuggets are now in the same position. Down 3 games to 1 to the Golden State Warriors, but things are a tad different. The Nuggets still have the home court advantage and can play 2 of the next 3 games at home, including a game 7 if necessary, and that makes things interesting. Sure, the Nuggets technically lost their home court advantage when the Warriors won in Denver in game 2, but the Nuggets had the best record at home nonetheless. As Sammy said, the chances are low, but there’s still a punter’s chance. It’s not over just yet.