Guard Jordan Crawford scored a career-high 41 points and Golden
State beat the Denver Nuggets 116-112 to enter the playoffs on a
Forward Harrison Barnes also had a career high with 30 points for
the Warriors, whose postseason fate was determined when Oklahoma
City edged Detroit for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Golden State, the No. 6 seed, will open the first round in Los
Angeles on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It's going to be a big-time task, but we're looking forward to it,"
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "They're the favorites, and they
should be. There've been a lot of underdogs that have been champs,
so we don't pay attention to that. We respect the type of team that
they are and now let the chips fall where they may."
The Warriors (51-31) finished 2-2 against L.A., but they will be
without center Andrew Bogut, making it tougher to go against
Clippers big men Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Golden State can draw on last year's playoff experience when, also
as the sixth seed, it upset the No. 3 Nuggets in six games.
"I don't pay attention to it," guard Steph Curry said. "The experts
picked Denver last year. They're never 100 percent right."
With nothing on the line Wednesday, the Warriors sat many of their
starters. Curry, Andre Iguodala and forwards Jermaine O'Neal and
David Lee did not play. Guard Klay Thompson played just nine minutes
and forward Draymond Green was pressed into playing after centers
Hilton Armstrong and Marreese Speights fouled out.
Still, the Warriors were able to win the third-most games in
franchise history and also tie the record for most road wins (24).
"We're talking about 51 wins, 20 games over .500, 24 road
victories," Jackson said. "It's an incredible group. It's been an
Guard Randy Foye scored 32 points and added 11 assists and forward
Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, whose rally fell
"I told the guys this is the last time we want to end our season on
the last game of the regular season," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.
Foye was chasing the franchise record for 3-pointers in a season set
by Dale Ellis in 1996-97. Foye finished with 189, three shy of
"I think the last two games it kind of got to me," Foye said.
"(Tuesday) night I was kind of tight shooting the ball. Usually I'm
loose, laughing and joking. I'm just happy I finished this year
playing all 82 games without injury."
[to top of second column]
Like last year, Denver's season ended against Golden State. A year
after winning a franchise-best 57 games, the Nuggets (36-46) missed
the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03.
Barnes and Crawford made up for the absence of the top players.
Barnes scored 22 and Crawford 19.
Golden State led 66-52 at halftime.
Denver scored 15 straight spanning the end of the third and start of
the fourth to take a 90-88 lead, its first since early in the game.
The game was back and forth when Crawford, who had 12 points in the
fourth, hit a floater in the lane to make it 110-108.
After a couple of misses, Barnes hit a free throw and Green tipped
in the missed second free throw to make it 113-108 with 29.6 seconds
The Warriors missed two of four free throws in the final minute,
giving Denver a chance, but Foye's 3-point try with 7.3 seconds left
was ruled wide after a video review determined Green didn't
interfere with the shot.
"They knew who the ball was coming to, but I missed the shot," Foye
said. "The ref said his hand hit the ball and made it hit the rim. I
had a good look."
Barnes hit a free throw to seal it.
NOTES: Warriors coach Mark Jackson said C Andrew Bogut is out
indefinitely and there is no timetable for his return, no matter how
deep Golden State goes in the playoffs. Bogut suffered a rib
fracture against Portland on Sunday. ... Denver F Anthony Randolph
returned after missing Tuesday's game for personal reasons. ...
Jackson became just the third coach in franchise history to win 50
games in a season. He joins Don Nelson and Al Attles in the
exclusive club. ... The Nuggets honored longtime trainer Jim Gillen,
who is retiring at the end of the season. Gillen, who joined Denver
in 1991-92, is known for his signature sweater vests, and coach
Brian Shaw, his assistants and several Nuggets employees wore them
in honor of the veteran trainer.
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