Warriors vs Nuggets, Quick Score: Golden State Survives Nikola Jokic, Denver in Game 5 to Seize Series

The Golden State Warriors move to the Western Conference semi-finals after defeating Nikola Jokic and Denver Nuggets 102-98 in Game 5 to clinch the first-round series. Stephen Curry finished with 30 points, while second Gary Payton came in big in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors clamped down on an attack on the Nuggets of late, keeping them just 20 points in fourth and improving to 20-8 in close matches under Steve Kerr. They are also now 16-1 all the time when they were leading 3-1 – the only loss came in the 2016 finals.

Nuggets Michael Malone has had success in the past in elimination games and even beat the series holes 3-1. However, Denver failed to force a Game 6 and extend the post-season. Jokic finished with 30 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists in the loss. The Warriors advance to a winner-takes-all showdown between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here are the most important points obtained from game 5.

1. He may be a nugget, but he’s also a warrior

When was nuggets coach Mike Malone Address the media After the fifth match, he had nothing but praise for Nikola Jokic. “A man is the definition of a warrior,” Malone said of the best player in the world. The phrasing might have been a little strange considering their Golden State opponents, but the feeling was felt through the end of the game and, in fact, throughout the season.

It was almost my hair. Jokic, who played nearly the entire season without fellow co-stars Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray, has had to carry the Nuggets to historic notch this season. The team that had no work sniffing out the playoffs managed to earn the No. 6 seed thanks to the best player. He survived a sweep in Game 4 with a 37 point blast. But with his season on the line on Wednesday, his body finally broke. He was no longer able to carry his teammates. He left the match due to a hamstring injury. If he hadn’t played another minute the rest of the night, his off-season rest would have been well deserved.

Instead, he not only no longer, but he dominated. Aside from Monte Morris’ trash time layup, Jokic was the only survivor to score in the final eight minutes and six seconds of the match. You couldn’t ask for better packaging for its season. Jokic carried nuggets as much as he could. They couldn’t hold him in the last few steps they needed tonight, and their season ended as a result.

But if those teams meet again next season, with Murray and Porter back in the fold and perhaps some promotions scattered among the rest of the roster, don’t be surprised if the outcome is different. This was not a fair fight. Even under the circumstances, Jokic stared at Stephen Curry’s 15 best players of all time and was absolutely equal. If his team can match Curry’s next season, this could be one of the best post-season 2023 streaks.

2. Boogie Time

The past four seasons have not been kind to DeMarcus Cousins. In that period, he somehow managed to play for the Warriors in the Curry era, LeBron James Lakers, James Harden Rockets, Kohei Leonard Clippers, Giannis Antetokonmo Bucks, Gokick Nuggets… without winning any championships. He’s only been on four teams the past two years, and he’s not even started this season on a roster. The NBA has basically shed every 31-year-old former superstar.

But as this series has proven, Cousins ​​still has a place in the league. In fact, he might even have a home in Denver. This was evident from the moment he fell. He may not be a player for 30 minutes and his defense can be disastrous, but the numbers don’t lie. Before the Cousins ​​arrived in January, the Nuggets were outdone with 217 points in the 823 minutes they played without Jokic. after that? That dropped to just 38 points in 662 minutes.

He was at his best in Game 5, scoring 19 points on an 8-of-12 shot to keep Denver afloat in the minutes Jokic had to rest. Once again, Denver kept in the footsteps of the non-Jokic minutes. For the series as a whole, the Nuggets actually won the minutes played by Cousins ​​by Three.

He’s a very specific player at this point in his career, but that specificity is extremely important to Denver. Nuggets are built around Jokic’s unique gifts. It cannot be backed up to Earth. But at Cousins, they have the closest fax they can ask of the minimum salary, and the center of the play industry they can venture through and can cause a mismatch. It is no longer a fixture. It should not start. There are matches he won’t be able to play at all. But Cousins ​​proved he doesn’t have to wait until mid-season to get a job next year. If anything, Denver should stick to it as their primary backup hub right away.

3. Strength is in numbers

Andrew Wiggins earns the maximum salary. Jordan Paul is slowly moving in that direction. There is a reason to start Warriors now with the three established stars. Most teams desperately need players like that to make them drop to the ground. If Denver had Wiggins or Paul tonight, they would have played 45 minutes each.

Steve Kerr has used them for 50… combined. Neither of them closed the match. Instead, they relied on Kevin Looney, a mid-level payout, and Otto Porter, the home-run alternative with a minimum salary, and Gary Payton second, a surprise bootcamp, as their players in the fourth quarter. This decision proved to be great. It assists the warriors in narrowing the defensive against the raging Jokic. Payton hit some of the biggest shots of his career. Warriors advance.

Golden State’s motto since the arrival of Steve Kerr has been “Strength in Numbers,” but it has always felt powerful. You could argue that Anderson Fargo’s excessive minutes in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals cost Golden State a championship. Their rookie always played limited minutes in the name of engaging the entire crew. Regardless of Kevin Durant’s years, chemistry has certainly helped, but the numbers suggest she may not have been doing them much of a favor on the court.

But this team is something else entirely. Nothing is prescriptive about the depth of this season. Warriors are the rare contenders with so many stars that they don’t even have to use them all. Their talent surplus is so enormous that they can pick and choose players for certain circumstances without having to worry about talent shortages. Even rookie Jonathan Kominga gave them a good half term in the second quarter. Andre Iguodala will have a role waiting for him upon his return. The Golden State’s depth is perhaps its greatest weapon. Warriors can play in any way they choose. Few of the other contenders were able to say the same.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: