Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105

BOX SCORE

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.

After postponement due to HB2 law, Charlotte to host 2019 All-Star Game

After postponement due to HB2 law, Charlotte to host 2019 All-Star Game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years later than anticipated.

The NBA announced that the All-Star weekend will be held Feb. 15-17 in Charlotte and the game will be played at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets.

The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of the state law restricting the rights of LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of the House Bill 2 law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.

"While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a release. "Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies.

"All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well."

Despite Silver's intentions, the Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign has concerns that no protections for non-discrimination policies for the LGBTQ community have been put in place by the Charlotte or the state.

"North Carolina's discriminatory law prohibits the city of Charlotte from implementing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors attending the All-Star Game. Nothing has changed that fact," said HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs JoDee Winterhof.

The NBA is the latest sports entity to return events to North Carolina; the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference also are bringing events back to the state after changes were made to the law.

The now-repealed House Bill 2 required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. That's been dropped, but LGBT advocates have denounced the replacement law because state officials took no action barring sexual identity and gender discrimination in workplaces, restaurants and hotels and instead prohibited local governments from acting on their own.

Hornets owner and longtime NBA great Michael Jordan said in a release he is "thrilled" the game is coming back to Charlotte.

"We want to thank Commissioner Silver for his leadership throughout this process and for the decision to bring NBA All-Star back to Buzz City," Jordan said in the release. "All-Star Weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world."

Jordan asked Silver to keep the city in mind for 2019 after the league moved the 2017 game - hopeful the HB2 law would eventually be repealed.

Silver honored that request.

Hornets COO and president Fred Whitfield represented the Hornets and Spectrum Center in doing whatever he could to help facilitate a resolution, spending time meeting with legislatures and other business leaders in North Carolina.

"From the very beginning I was in engaged to see if we could not only save the 2019 All-Star game, but the NCAA (basketball) regionals and the ACC Tournament, as well as concerts and events in the building," Whitfield said. "We are operators of the building and we felt like we had to get engaged to assist to get some resolution."

Even as talks to repeal HB2 stalled at times, the Hornets continued to move forward with the league's request to upgrade the arena.

The $41 million renovation - $33.5 million of which came from the City of Charlotte - is almost complete, and has included a new scoreboard, new floor and renovations to suites and hospitality areas, among other upgrades.

Charlotte previously hosted the All-Star game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.

Pete Guelli, the Hornets executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, estimates a $100 economic impact for the city, but said the reputational effect will be even bigger.

"This city has changed significantly since the last time it hosted a game 28 years ago," Guelli said, "and the opportunity to showcase that on an international stage is incalculable."

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

The Warriors possess four 2017 All-Stars, three 2017 All-NBA team members and had the highest-scoring offense during the offense. They are 12-0 this postseason and have won those 12 games by an average of 16.3 points.

The Celtics lost All-NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the postseason and don't have another All-Star on the roster.

But for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, it sounds like he has an easier time scheming to defend the Warriors.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing. Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad's (Stevens) got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat," Lue said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com.

The Cavs rallied to beat the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the commanding series lead, Lue isn't looking ahead of a potential NBA Finals matchup with the Warriors.

"You can't. As much as you want to, it's not over," Lue told reporters.

The Cavs have a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday when they face the Celtics in Boston.

The NBA Finals begin June 1 in Oakland.