Warriors guards too much for Nuggets in Game 3

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Stephen Curry zoomed past Nikola Jokic in a pick-and-roll, scooped in a layup, pressed the flats of hands together at an angle near his ear and rested his head on the imaginary pillow.

Good night, Denver.

Curry’s bucket capped a late game-turning 7-0 run for the Warriors, who beat the Nuggets 118-113 in Game 3 of their first-round series Thursday. Up 3-0 – which has always led to victory in a best-of-seven series, usually by sweep – Golden State will try to close the series in Game 4 Sunday in Denver.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (37 points, 18 rebounds, five assists) finally played like an MVP tonight. But it’s no wonder Jokic, never a staunch defender, couldn’t keep up with Curry at the end.

The Warriors spread their scoring burden around. All three top guards – Curry (27 points), Jordan Poole (27 points) and Klay Thompson (26 points) – impressed.

For the first time this series, Golden State appeared to give up something defensively with its small lineups. Those units, dating back to the original death lineup, have always put tremendous defensive burden on Draymond Green. He wasn’t as sharp as usual tonight. But when Jokic tried to post him up in crunch time, Green poked the ball away for a game-sealing steal: