Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105

November 30, 2012, 6:18 am
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Player of the game: David Lee had 31 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors to a nail-biter of a win. Lee went 13-for-15 from the field and also had six assists.

Key stretch: Jarrett Jack converted a tough drive with 1:15 remaining to give the Warriors a 106-103 lead and control of the game in the final minute.Not that bringing it home was easy for the Warriors (9-6).Andre Iguodala, who was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining on a 3-point attempt, made two of those free throws to pull Denver within one. The Warriors failed to secure the rebound, giving the Nuggets one final chance to win it with 2.1 seconds left. After an errant pass went off Golden State, Denver had five-tenths of a second remaining to once again try to win it.Iguodala proceeded to bury a deep jumper at the buzzer, which the officials ruled as a good basket on the floor. But after going to replay, the basket was ruled to have come after the buzzer, giving the Warriors their fourth win in five games.Golden State battled back from a 16-point deficit, eventually drawing even midway through the fourth quarter.
Clamping down: The Warriors forced the Nuggets into a 1-for-8 start from the field in the fourth quarter, and that was enough time and enough defense to allow them to reclaim the lead midway through the period.That set up a back-and-forth final six minutes that had the crowd on its feet for a good portion of it.Third-quarter blues: In the Warriors 102-91 loss to the Nuggets on Nov. 23, the game turned in the third quarter. Denver opened the period on a 15-0 run to take control of that game and something similar happened on Thursday.The Nuggets, who were already up nine at half, began the third quarter by scoring 13 of the first 19 points, and lo and behold, they were up on the Warriors 73-57 with eight-plus minutes left.Good start spoiled: Less than five minutes into the game, the Warriors had themselves a 17-5 lead, and things appeared hunky-dory.But by the end of the first period, Denver had pulled within five points, and then came the second quarter and it was all Nuggets.Denver outscored the Warriors 35-21 in the second period, shooting 65 percent (15-for-23) percent in the process, and went into the locker room with a 60-51 lead. The cold, hard numbers for the Warriors were that they were outscored 26-8 to finish the second quarter.Lee was putting in work in the first half, and it was a good thing for Golden State or it would have been down more. Lee buried 8-of-9 from the field on his way to a 19-point, five-rebound half.The 19 points were the most by a Warrior in a half this season.Getting defensive: Through 15 games this season, the Warriors dont look very much like they have in previous years. The high-scoring Warriors arent scoring as much these days, averaging only 98 points per game, ranking them 15th in the league.Also strange to see is the Warriors among the league leaders in some defensive categories. Coming into Thursdays game against the Nuggets, the Warriors were holding their opposition to 43.1 percent shooting from the field, fourth-best in the NBA.Said Jackson: We are going to build this team towards our dream which is chasing down and ultimately hanging a banner up. The way you do that is holding each other accountable on the defensive end. There are people that are concerned about us scoring the basketball were going to score the basketball. Our defense has been exceptional and has allowed us to be in the seat we are in right now and we will continue that.