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Nuggets in 3-1 hole after latest loss to Warriors

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 29, 2013 at 1:38 am •  Published: April 29, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The hole in the wall just inside the entrance of the visiting locker room at Oracle Arena kicked in by Kenneth Faried might symbolize the Denver Nuggets' frustration more than any other.

About the only dent bigger is the one Stephen Curry has put in Denver's season.

Curry shook off a sore left ankle to score 22 of his 31 points in a spectacular third quarter, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Nuggets 115-101 on Sunday night for a commanding 3-1 series lead.

"There's no good news," said Faried, who had eight points and 12 rebounds. "The effort of coming back and trying to keep playing, it was there. But when they come down and just hit 3s when you've just crossed half-court, you can't scheme around that. You can't stop that. We just have to find a way to not let them do that.

Faried's frustration was reminiscent of the hole Dirk Nowitzki put in the wall outside the locker room— which remains till this day — when he threw a chair after his top-seeded Dallas Mavericks were upset in the first round by Golden State in 2007, the last time the Warriors had made the playoffs.

Like that Dallas team that lost in six games, Denver suddenly needs to win three straight.

Ty Lawson scored 26 points and Andre Iguodala had 19 for the third-seeded Nuggets. Denver won the rebounding battle for the first time in this series — 37 to 29 — but Golden State didn't miss much.

The Warriors outshot the Nuggets 55.7 to 46.5 percent.

"The next 48 hours are going to be difficult, to say the least," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "They found some magic, and we have to find a way to take it away."

Curry finished 10 of 16 from the floor, including 6 of 11 from long range, and added seven assists in a dominant and dazzling display that rivaled his days in the NCAA tournament for tiny Davidson. Only this time, he stole the spotlight in the NBA playoffs, earning praise from Hall of Famers and past and present All-Stars all over social media.

Curry took a pain-killing injection before the game for the first time in his career, though he looked slow early and even covered his head in a towel on the bench late in the first quarter. Then, he hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter to lift Golden State to a 20-point lead and its third straight victory in this frenetic and flashy series.

"I don't know what happened. Something kicked in there," Curry said.

Jarrett Jack added 21 points and nine assists and Andrew Bogut broke out in the first half with 12 points and five rebounds for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who can close out the Nuggets in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Denver.

The Warriors lost All-Star forward David Lee to a season-ending hip injury in Game 1, and Curry sprained his left ankle late in Game 2. Seemingly down and out, Curry has carried the load anyway.

The quick-shooting point guard hit 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in a jaw-dropping third quarter, when nearly every gold-shirt wearing fan in the sellout crowd of 19,596 stood and cheered. Curry scored all 22 points in the final 6:22 of the quarter, showing the kind of range that helped him make 272 3-pointers in the regular season — three more than Ray Allen's record set in 2005-06 with Seattle.

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