The NBA 2013 Playoffs: Soaring High in Denver

Iggy and the Nuggets thwarted the Warriors in Game 5 to stay alive.
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#Stayin'Alive #Manimal
The Nuggets came out running and gunning in Game 5 to lead by 22 points. They had the lead the whole game and was only threatened near the final minutes. Denver had 3 players with double-doubles (Iguodala, Faried & Lawson) while JaVale McGee started for the first time this season and was an immediate factor with 10 points and 8 boards. The Nuggets played with high energy and intensity which was spearheaded by Faried who had a couple of alley-oops. Meanwhile, the Warriors started cold with Curry and Thompson shooting blanks which put the Dubs down by 14 in the first quarter. The sweet shooting back court duo combined for just 34 points and shot below 50%. The Warriors never got close the rest of the way. Andrew Bogut was a non-factor in Game 5 with just 2 points after being a key contributor in their last game.

#dirty #hitmen
After the game, Coach Jackson of the Warriors insinuated that the Nuggets played dirty and sent "hit men" to purposely target Steph Curry to hurt his ankles. Jackson even said that he had inside info coming from Denver that warned him that something fishy was up. Personally, I think his comments were misguided since both teams were just playing playoff basketball. Both teams have bangers and high intensity guys so physical stuff will always happen. I did not see anything really dirty from the Nuggets. It can be argued that the Warriors had the "dirtier" players in Game 5 since Bogut and Draymond Green were assessed with flagrant fouls. Bogut's two-handed shove into Faried's face was borderline dirty since it was not a basketball play.

#GrindHouse #Z-Bo
The Clippers are in trouble. They have lost 3 straight in this series and will face elimination at Memphis in Game 6. It's a very big possibility that Blake Griffin will miss that game but if he plays, he will be severely limited due to his high ankle sprain. Blake played 20 minutes and had 4 points and 5 boards. More importantly, he was unable to match-up with Zach Randolph who had a monster game (25 and 11). Z-Bo was not alone in their crucial win. Others stepped up, mainly Tayshaun Prince who hit crucial shots down the stretch and he finished with 15 points. The Grizzlies played good defense as they limited the Clippers to 44% shooting while Chris Paul was the only scoring option among their starters. The Clippers' starters combined for 18 points if you remove the 35 points from CP3. In comparison, the Grizzlies got 3 of their starters score at least 20 points.

#BenchMob #Practice?
Coach Vinny probably cost his team Game 5 before the game even started. Apparently, Blake Griffin hurt his ankle during a full-scale practice on Monday which may have included physical contact. Injuries happening during practice sessions in the playoffs RARELY happen since coaches normally scale down the intensity of practices to avoid injuries. Practices in the playoffs generally involve conditioning drills and a LOT of film sessions and game planning. Kudos to Blake for trying to play but high ankle sprains normally take weeks to heal and not days. The depth of the Clippers' bench was missing in Game 5 with Jamal Crawford the only one providing help to Chris Paul and his 35 points. Even their starters struggled with the likes of Billups and Butler combining for 8 points. Heck, Grant Hill has not played in this series and Willie Green has hardly played. Maybe it's time Coach Vinny gave the others a chance. If they lose Game 6, there wont be another opportunity to adjust.

#Stats #News
  • Nuggets dominated the Points in the Paint: 50-24
  • Warriors had a short rotation with 4 of the starters playing at least 41 minutes
  • Evan Fournier did not play after starting the last 4 games
  • Chris Paul had a playoff career-high 35 points
  • The Grizzlies shot 26-33 from FTs while Clippers 19-25
#Player of the Night
Andre Iguodala - 25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 7 assists, WIN

#Highlights of the Night
Faried working hard on both ends of the court
CP3 with the And 1

#Tweet of the Night

Center McGee on Mark Jackson accusing of playing dirty: "If we played dirty, they must've played unsanitary."

#Game Recaps

Final Score: Denver 107, Golden State 100
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The hole that frustrated forward Kenneth Faried kicked in the visiting locker room's wall at Oracle Arena wasn't as big as the one Denver found itself in following Game 4's loss. But the Nuggets put their foot down and staved off the hard-charging Golden State Warriors in the friendly confines of Pepsi Center Tuesday. Andre Iguodala tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Denver's 107-100 wire-to-wire win over Golden State in Game 5 of this Western Conference first-round series. The Warriors still lead the best-of-seven set 3-2. Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit. Golden State trailed by as many as 22 in the second quarter and were down by 19 early in the fourth before surging back. The Warriors whittled the margin down to five with 2:16 to go, but Wilson Chandler nailed a 3-poiner and Iguodala put back a dunk off a Ty Lawson airball, sandwiched around Festus Ezeli splitting a pair of free throws, to increase the advantage back to nine with 53 ticks remaining. The Warriors never got within two possessions the rest of the way. Lawson recorded 19 points and 10 assists, Chandler put in a playoff career-high 19 points and Faried added 13 points and 10 boards for Denver, which has been eliminated from the first round nine times in the last 10 years. The Nuggets had dropped an NBA-low three home games during the regular season, but suffered a Game 2 defeat in the Mile High city. Denver made sure it didn't lose back-to-back games there for the first time since Feb. 8-9, 2012. After committing 23 turnovers in Game 4, Denver gave the ball away just 13 times Tuesday. Stephen Curry, whose 18 triples were the most by any player in the first four contests of a playoff career, missed his first five from beyond the arc. He netted 15 points on 1-of-7 shooting from distance. Harrison Barnes had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors, who were outscored 50-24 in the paint.

Final Score: Memphis 103, LA Clippers 93
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Memphis' Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph don't have the athletic leaping ability of their counterparts in Lob City, but the Clippers haven't found the antidote to stopping them over the last three games. And a road team has finally taken a contest in this series. Randolph had 10 of his 25 points in the fourth to go with 11 rebounds, while Gasol added 21 points and eight boards in the Grizzlies' 103-93 win over Los Angeles in Game 5 of this Western Conference first-round series. The duo combined for 43 points and 19 rebounds in Game 3 and went for 48 points and 22 boards in Game 4. The Grizzlies will attempt to close out the series in Memphis on Friday. Mike Conley tallied 20 points and six assists for the Grizzlies, who committed just seven turnovers against the team that forced the most in the NBA during the regular season. Chris Paul tied a playoff career high with 35 points to lead Los Angeles. Clippers forward Blake Griffin exited the tilt midway through the third quarter with a right ankle injury that he hurt in practice Monday. Griffin finished with just four points on 2-of-7 shooting. Jamal Crawford finished with 15 points in defeat.

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