The Denver Nuggets will try to stave off elimination Tuesday night when they host the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 to the lower-seeded Warriors after Sunday's 115-101 loss in Oakland at Oracle Arena.
"It's kind of ride-or-die time," Denver swingman Andre Iguodala admitted. "We'll see what kind of basketball players we're made of."
The Nuggets haven't had an answer for Steph Curry, the sharp-shooting point guard for the Warriors. He went off for 31 points on Sunday, but the Nuggets did themselves in as well.
Denver committed 23 turnovers, which led to 33 Golden State points.
"We have way too many turnovers," acknowledged Nuggets coach George Karl. "When they shoot the ball as well as they shoot it, we can't give them more possessions."
Ty Lawson led the way for the Nuggets with 26 points, but he had five turnovers himself. Iguodala added 19, but he committed a game-high seven turnovers.
The Nuggets hope they get a boost from their crowd. Much has been made of how loud Warriors fans have been, (Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried described Oracle Arena as "deafening") but the Pepsi Center can get pretty rowdy.
"Our court has been a great court, too," Karl said. "We've got two courts that are probably in the top five in the NBA right now. They have helped win games with their energy and we could use them to be on our side (Tuesday) night."
The Warriors have been carried by Curry. He's battling a balky ankle and only scored seven points on 1-for-3 shooting in the first half in Sunday's Game 4.
"I actually took him out in the first half and was considering, you know, shutting him down," admitted Golden State coach Mark Jackson. "I told him that and it was almost like a boxer that knew he was on the ropes because it was just a matter of time. I told him I don't need him to be a hero."
Hero he was.
Curry scored 22 points in the third quarter and went 10-for-16 from the field.
"I have a lot of confidence in my shot," Curry said. "There might be a few that look sketchy to critics of basketball, but I always have confidence."
Jarrett Jack finished with 21 points and the bench provided a huge spark. Carl Landry added 17 points and Draymond Green chipped in 13. Klay Thompson also had 13 and Andrew Bogut, who fired up the crowd with some hellacious dunks, scored 12.
Now, the Warriors have a chance to win a playoff series for the first time since their epic victory in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks after the 2006-07 season. Golden State was the eighth seed that time, and while they're sixth this go around, it would still be a nice upset.
"That's a heck of a basketball team on the other side. They're number three seed for a reason," Jackson said. "They're an extremely well coached team. They have a lot of weapons, a lot of depth and a lot of versatility. By no means is this series over."
If Denver can stave off elimination, Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday in Oakland.