Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole scored 27 points each, Klay Thompson made six 3-pointers on his way to 26 points and the Golden State Warriors muscled past the Denver Nuggets 118-113 on Thursday night to take a 3-0 lead in the playoff series.
Draymond Green added a key steal from Nikola Jokic, who finished with 37 points and 18 rebounds, in the final minute and the Warriors closed on a 9-2 run to put the Nuggets on the cusp of elimination.
Golden State can wrap up the series Sunday in Denver. Teams facing a 3-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series are 0-143.
The Nuggets were in control for much of the second half but after Jokic’s finger roll layup put Denver ahead 111-109 with 3:20 left, the Warriors tightened up on defense.
The Nuggets went six straight possessions without scoring and Golden State had the game in hand by the time Will Barton’s tip-in with 23 seconds left pulled Denver to 117-113.
Aaron Gordon added 18 points for the Nuggets, who took an 89-87 lead into the fourth quarter but lost for the seventh straight time in the postseason.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone complained before the game that his team hadn’t been aggressive, physical or vocal in the series, so he inserted Facundo Campazzo into his rotation after losing the first two games by an average of 18 points.
The Nuggets missed their last four shots of the first half and Curry had a 3-pointer and a three-point play to push Golden State’s lead to 69-59 at the break.
Green rolled his left ankle midway through the third quarter but stayed in the game. Jordan Poole went to the bench a short time later, grabbing his left elbow. Trainers put a heating pad on his left elbow and forearm but he returned to action.
Warriors: Curry has at least one 3-pointer in an NBA-best 115 consecutive playoff games. The Warriors shot 68% from the floor in the first half and six different players combined for a dozen 3-pointers. Thompson (388) now in sole possession of third on NBA Playoffs all-time 3-pointers list, passing Ray Allen (385).
Nuggets: Denver has been outscored in the second quarter of the series by a combined 99-72. They’ve allowed Golden State to go on second-quarter runs of 16-0 in Game 1, 15-2 in Game 2 and 15-4 in Game 3. The first sign of the Nuggets’ more aggressive play came in the first quarter when Jokic hip-checked Curry to the floor but didn’t draw a whistle just before Austin Rivers’ 3-pointer from the corner.