Warriors dunk Nuggets
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry had 22 points and eight assists, Andrew Bogut broke out with the best performance of his injury-saddled season and the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Denver Nuggets with a 92-88 victory in Game 6 on Thursday.
Bogut had season-bests and career-playoff highs of 14 points and 21 rebounds, and rookie Draymond Green added a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds to power Golden State into the second round for the first time in six years.
The Warriors went ahead by 18 points early in the fourth before holding off one final Nuggets flurry.
Andre Iguodala scored 24 points and Ty Lawson had 17 in another disappointing early exit for Denver, which has lost in the first round nine of the past 10 seasons.
The Nuggets won 23 of their final 26 regular season games to earn the Western Conference’s third seed, then lost four of six to the hot-shooting Warriors.
Golden State only outshot the Nuggets 40.3 percent to 34.7 percent in the finale but dominated the rebounding matchup again, 55-44.
Golden State will open the second round at San Antonio on Monday.
On the ball or off the dribble, Curry connected all over his home court in another dazzling second half. Curry swished all four of his 3-pointers in the third quarter and brought the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 roaring each time.
He also dribbled behind his back and threw his legs, crossing over Lawson and zipping a pass through traffic to Bogut for a thunderous dunk. With Denver starting to chase Curry around the perimeter, the spacing started to open up.
Curry added a one-handed pass off the dribble to a cutting Carl Landry, who finished for a three-point play over Wilson Chandler.
Green made a corner 3 in front of Denver’s bench, and Klay Thompson hustled for a rebound and a quick put-back to put the Warriors up 80-62 with 9:11 to play.
But the Warriors, who had 10 turnovers in the fourth, nearly collapsed. Chandler stole a rebound from Green for an easy layup to get the Nuggets within four, Iguodala hit another from long range and Kenneth Faried made 1 of 2 free throws to bring Denver within two with 32.4 seconds to play.
Iguodala stole Thompson’s pass on the ensuing play. Chandler’s running layup rimmed out, he missed a put-back and then knocked the ball out. The Nuggets were forced to intentionally foul Jarrett Jack, who made both free throws to give Golden State a 92-88 lead with 7.3 seconds remaining.
NETS 95, BULLS 92
CHICAGO — Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points, and Brooklyn again avoided elimination, beating Chicago to tie their first-round series at 3.
The series goes back to Brooklyn for Game 7 on Saturday, with the winner getting defending champion Miami in the second round.
The Bulls hung in until the end even though they were missing Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Marco Belinelli started at shooting guard, and Jimmy Butler moved to small forward and scored 22 points. Nate Robinson started his second straight game with Hinrich injured and had 18 points. Butler had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.