Stephen Curry came off the bench for a second straight game and showed he’s healthy at last, scoring 34 points to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 126-106 on Monday night for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.
Jordan Poole started for Curry again and contributed 29 points — just missing a chance to become the first Warriors player ever to score 30 in his first two playoff games.
Klay Thompson added 21 points, while Curry shot 12-for-17 with five threes as Denver again had no answer defensively for all of the Warriors’ dangerous perimeter threats.
Chef Curry with the pot 👨🍳
Steph Curry is up to 34 points for the @warriors.#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel on TNT pic.twitter.com/KqjkL5hVhE
The series shifts to Denver for Game 3 on Thursday night.
The Warriors are rolling with the backing of a raucous home crowd, winning their seventh in a row overall after a five-game winning streak to close the regular season.
Golden State used runs of 16-0 and 23-4 late in the second quarter to erase a 43-31 deficit and take a 57-51 lead at the break. On one particularly dazzling sequence, Draymond Green bounced a pass to Poole who threw it behind his back to Thompson for a layup that made it 54-47. Green’s defense flustered Jokic again.
Jordan Poole drops a behind-the-back tell me to Klay in transition ✨
the @warriors are on a roll in Q2!#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel on TNT pic.twitter.com/zsLzLaJyTf
Austin Rivers grabbed at his left hip and went down hard after getting hurt on a drive then Thompson hit a jumper on the other end in the 5-on-4 advantage before Rivers exited with 10:04 left in the second quarter. He returned with 46.7 seconds to go in the half.
The Nuggets went ahead 43-31 on Monte Morris’ layup at the 7:25 mark of the second quarter and the Warriors answered with 16 straight points. The Chase Center crowd went crazy on Poole’s three with 3:38 remaining.
Curry entered for the first time at the 6:32 mark of the first to a roaring ovation and immediately hit a jumper. With 16 first-half points he became the 27th player in NBA history to score 3,000 career postseason points.
He showed a full range of moves including driving to the basket with a fervor and making a three-pointer while falling to the ground.
Denver took a 7-0 lead 90 seconds into the game as Jokic made four quick free throws. But the teams combined to start 6-for-21 with three field goals apiece — and the Warriors were 1-for-7 on threes.
Brunson leads Mavericks to victory in Doncic’s absence
Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 41 points, Maxi Kleber had 25 with eight of Dallas’ playoff-record 22 made three-pointers and the Mavericks, without superstar Luka Doncic, evened up their first-round series with a 110-104 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 on Monday night in Dallas.
Kleber, who had made only 19 per cent of his three-point attempts since the All-Star break, was 8-of-11 from beyond the arc when the Mavs needed them the most. His three-pointer from him with 4:21 put Dallas ahead to stay at 99-98, and he then added another on the next possession.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Utah, where Dallas has lost its last 11 games.
MAXI KLEBER IS A LASER!
He’s up to 8 3-pointers for the @dallasmavs 🔥#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel on NBA TV pic.twitter.com/xBqetyF4Ka
Brunson, the starting point guard with Doncic out, became the fifth Dallas player to score 40 points in a playoff game. Doncic was one of the previous four to do that.
Donovan Mitchell had 34 points for Utah, while Bojan Bogdanovic had 25 and Jordan Clarkson 21. Rudy Gobert had eight points and 17 rebounds.
Jalen Brunson is balling for the @dallasmavs‘in Game 2 🔥
He’s up to 36 points on @NBATV#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel pic.twitter.com/JNYD1v9OdC
A three-pointer by Clarkson put the Jazz up 60-50 early in the third quarter, and the only time Dallas led in that quarter was when Kleber hit a three with two minutes left for a 74-73 lead. But Bogdanovic then hit a three, and the Jazz led 81-74 at the end of the third after a basket by Mitchell.
Dallas didn’t lead again until a three by Dorian Finney-Smith with 6:12 left.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism