NBA playoffs: Stephen Curry, Warriors rally to close out series with Nuggets

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry and the Warriors are moving on. (AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors hadn’t been in this position in, well, years.

And it showed.

Despite trailing entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors rallied in the final period to knock off Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, 102-98, in Game 5 of their opening round playoff series. That win officially closed out their series 4-1 and pushed Golden State to the next round, where they’ll take on either the Memphis Grizzlies or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Perhaps more important, it marks the team’s first postseason series win since 2019.

“I think you can see these first three quarters, we forgot what it felt like to try to close out a game,” Curry said on TNT. “The nerves, the energy in the building … We still know how to do it, but we kind of had to grind it out. It’s a good feeling to go out there and get the win.”

After entering halftime locked up, the Nuggets flew ahead in the third quarter and looked poised to extend the series another few days. Denver closed out the third period on a 7-0 run spanning more than two minutes, and seemed in control of the contest.

Yet with Jokic in foul trouble, Golden State turned it on in the final 12 minutes. The Warriors opened the fourth quarter on an 18-7 run, which gave them their first lead in the game since the first half. They held Denver scoreless for more than four minutes during that stretch.

Though Denver broke its scoreless streak and cut the game to a single possession in the final minute, it was too late. Curry and Gary Payton II combined for a quick nine-point burst to push the Warriors out of reach and eventually seal the narrow victory.

Jokic led Denver, which opened the series with three straight losses, with a near-triple double. The reigning MVP put up 30 points with 19 rebounds and eight assists. DeMarcus Cousins added a postseason career-high 19 points off the bench.

Curry led Golden State with 30 points while shooting 5-of-11 from behind the arc. Payton, who was held scoreless in the Warriors' Game 4 loss, added 15 points off the bench while shooting 6-of-8 from the field, and Klay Thompson had 15 points and nine rebounds.

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