ORACLE ARENA — From the starting introductions, fans saw that Stephen Curry was in the starting lineup.
His contributions — along with key support from Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry — would be critical. Curry finished with a team-leading 29 points and 11 assists, with Jack adding 23 points as the Warriors held off the Nuggets 110-108 to win Game 3.
Curry has been known for his shooting from long range, but consecutive tear drop running jump shots in the fourth quarter may have been his most impressive four points of the night.
In the loss, Ty Lawson had the game of his life, scoring a game-high 35 points and he also had 10 assists.
The Warriors took their largest lead of the game with a 3-pointer by Draymond Green from the right corner with 9:51 remaining. That became a six-point cushion on a driving jump shot by Landry with 9:11 left.
But Faried and Lawson were the go-to guys for Denver.
Following two free throws to make it a two-point Golden State edge, Thompson’s driving layup gave the Warriors a four-point cushion. A couple of shots from the charity stripe by Curry and the Warriors led 108-102 with 1:54 left.
Lawson made a driving layup and the foul and Lawson gave an emphatic wave with his fist after drawing the foul. On the ensuing possession, Andrew Bogut turned the ball over.
But Jack made one of two free throws for a 109-105 Warriors lead with 21.5 seconds to play.
Wilson Chandler nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 16.5 seconds left.
Jack dribbled the ball to the timeline and the Warriors called timeout with 9.4 seconds. But Jack took too long trying to inbound the ball and Golden State turned it over on a five second violation.
Lawson, though, gave it right back dribbling the ball out of bounds. Replays clearly proved that Lawson lost the handle, fell and the ball bounded out of play.
Harrison Barnes sunk one of two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to extend the Warriors’ lead to two at 110-108.
Denver had a chance to win it at the buzzer on a shot from half-court by Andre Iguodala but the shot missed off the rim and the Warriors escaped with the victory.
There was a frenetic pace and energy to this game from the opening tip, with 11 lead changes in the first quarter alone.
Denver scored six points in 47 seconds in the first quarter. The Nuggets also went 10-for-12 from the line. They had made their first ten foul shots but Javale McGee missed both his attempts after he was whacked by Draymond Green on the hand.
The Nuggets extended their lead to as much as nine points. Curry’s 3-pointer with 3:34 left cut the deficit to one point.
But the Nuggets went on a 13-2 run to close out the half and take a 66-54 advantage into the locker room.
Earlier, an 18-foot pull-up jumper by Carl Landry with 5.7 left in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 87-84 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Anthony Randolph, the former Warrior, scored four straight for Denver on a fast break dunk and a layup.
Curry was plagued by foul trouble and whistled for his fourth personal with 9:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Ty Lawson’s 3-pointer gave the Nuggets a 13-point lead.
The Warriors fought back and a three by Harrison Barnes cut the Denver lead to six points. Jarrett Jack’s fadeaway jumper with 6:14 to play made it 73-71 Denver as the Warriors went on a 16-2 run capped off by Curry’s triple from the left wing with 4:54 remaining.
But Andrew Bogut got called for a technical foul and Andre Miller made the free throw to retie the game at 74-74.
Jack’s floating jumper with 56 seconds to go in the third quarter gave him 20 points on the night and a two-point Warriors lead.