LeBron James Stops A Starless Spurs Upset In Its Tracks; Golden State Survives A Mind-Boggling Finish
Golden State coach Mark Jackson was stewing in the third quarter when Denver embarrassed his team’s lack of effort. On one, Kosta Koufos beat back four Warriors downcourt and no one picked him up at the free throw line. Once he drifted past everyone Ty Lawson (17 points, nine assists) dropped an easy dime to him. Fool me once, right? The next trip down, sandwiched around a Klay Thompson jumper, Lawson hit a three-pointer to put the Nugs up 13. Kenneth Faried (10 points, seven boards, five blocks) blew up a Thompson jumper at the other end followed by Koufos doing a nice give-and-go with Lawson for another three-pointer on the next trip. The crime was that no one went out to even try to close out on Lawson. Jackson looked like he was about to make heads roll in the ensuing timeout. After that point, Golden State balled to an improbable 106-105 win. With the Nugs giving the game away like days old Thanksgiving leftovers, Denver almost had a chance to win when Andre Iguodala (22 points) got fouled on a “three” — then had two more chances to win. Down one with two seconds, Denver went with the, uh, original backdoor lob to Lawson. Given the ball back with 0.5 of a second, Iggy drilled a triple to win — except it took about 0.1 seconds too long to be ruled a winner. So close. … Really impressed by not only Faried’s chase blocks — he trashed Steph Curry and Thompson after making up about 20 feet each time in the open court — but Curry’s own active hands. When he poked out the ball from Andre Miller on a post move and then did the same to Faried in a mismatch a few possessions later in the fourth, the buckets they created on the other end got Golden State to within one. … We wrote today about the most-missed players in the NBA because of injuries, and Andrew Bogut was included for Golden State. It was noted that David Lee (31 points, nine boards, six assists) has been balling in his stead at center and that was true Thursday. He left a defender looking at air on a beautiful spin and shot off the glass, hit a tough and-one to tie the game at 102 and was finishing off of breaks because of hustle. … Comings and goings: Rajon Rondo got his 37-game double-digit assist streak broken Wednesday night when he was ejected for his role in a skirmish with Brooklyn. The early ejection from the fight that ended that streak (nine short of tying Magic Johnson) now will cost him two games. That’s the same amount DeMarcus Cousins got for talking garbage to Spurs’ TV guy Sean Elliott. … Also, here’s a welcome back to Derek Fisher, who was picked up by Dallas. … We’re out like half the Spurs roster.
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