Survive and advance: Warriors finish off Nuggets in Game 5 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors’ first NBA playoff series in nearly three calendar years went as well as they could have imagined.
With their 102-98 comeback win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series at Ball Arena on Sunday, the Warriors advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
The Warriors trailed for most of the second half of Game 5, but rallied in the fourth quarter to pull out the thrilling win.
The Warriors now will await the winner of the series between the No. 2 seeded Memphis Grizzlies and the No. 7 seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis leads the series three-games-to-two with Game 6 set for Friday. Game 7, if necessary, would be on Sunday.
A potential Warriors-Grizzlies series would start in Memphis, while the Golden State would have home-court advantage if Minnesota pulls off the first-round upset.
If the Grizzlies win Game 6 on Friday night, Game 1 against the Warriors would take place Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT in Memphis.
While the Nuggets won three of the four regular-season matchups against the Warriors, Draymond Green missed all of those games. He was healthy for the playoffs and so was Steph Curry, who returned for Game 1 and turned himself into the greatest Sixth Man in NBA history, coming off the bench in the first four games as Jordan Poole thrived in the starting lineup. Curry re-entered the starting lineup in the deciding fifth game, with Kevon Looney moving to the bench.
With their main rotational players all healthy for the first time this season, the Warriors were able to unleash a new version of their famous “Death Lineup,” putting Curry, Poole, Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins on the court at the same time. That unit was a plus-26 through the first four games and started together in Game 5.
The Warriors now will have a few days to rest up while they wait for the Grizzlies and Timberwolves to determine which team will advance to the second round.