NBA playoffs: Warriors defeat Nuggets 115-101
Oakland, Calif. • Stephen Curry shook off a sore left ankle to score 22 of his 31 points in the third quarter, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 115-101 on Sunday night for a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Curry shot 10-for-16 from the floor and added seven assists in a dominant and dazzling display that rivaled his days in the NCAA Tournament for tiny Davidson. His five 3-pointers in the third quarter lifted Golden State to a 20-point lead and its third straight victory in this frenetic and flashy series.
Jarrett Jack added 21 points and nine assists, and Andrew Bogut broke out in the first half with 12 points and five rebounds for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who can close out the Nuggets in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Denver.
Ty Lawson scored 26 points and Andre Iguodala had 19 for the third-seeded Nuggets.
The Warriors lost All-Star forward David Lee to a season-ending hip injury in Game 1, and Curry sprained his left ankle late in Game 2. With Curry carrying the load anyway, none of it has seemed to matter.
The quick-shooting point guard hit 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in a spectacular third quarter, when nearly every gold-shirt wearing fan in the sellout crowd of 19,596 stood and cheered. Curry scored all 22 points in the final 6:22 of the quarter, showing the kind of range that helped him make 272 3-pointers in the regular season three more than Ray Allen's record set in 2005-06 with Seattle.
Curry capped his remarkable run with two of his most highlight-reel plays.
He stole the ball from Lawson, stopped in heavy traffic and dropped in a 27-footer before sprinting all the way to the bench high-fiving and chest-bumping teammates. Following a timeout, Curry sprung free near Denver's bench for a corner 3 that gave Golden State a 91-72 lead entering the fourth.
Curry, wearing heavy tape around his nagging ankle, gave fans a scare when Corey Brewer poked him in the eye going for a rebound early in the fourth. Curry returned about 4Â½ minutes later.