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.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.