The Golden State Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets 102-98 in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. This means the Warriors advance to the Western Conference semifinals to play the winner of the Grizzlies and Timberwolves series.

The Warriors owe this game 5 victory to excellent late game defending. They got into the final quarter trailing 78-70 but points from Steph Curry brought the Warriors back in. Curry led the Warriors with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes. This was his first start of the series after coming off the bench for the first four games.

For Denver, it was a tough night. Already a Herculean task going into the game, it became tougher when Jokic exited the game in the fourth to an apparent injury. After the game, coach Michael Malone said Jokic had hamstring tightness going into the matchup.

“I just don’t understand the people that find a way to criticize Nicole Jokic,” Malone said. “Is he perfect? No. I’m not saying he is but the guy is the definition of a warrior.”

Hamstring tightness didn’t slow down the reigning MVP, who shot 12-of-18 from the field. Jokic had 30 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists. The second time he’s put up those huge numbers in a playoff game during his career.

READ ALSO: UCL – Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid Match Report

Warriors’ Defense And Steph Curry

Golden State were excellent on defense, especially in the fourth quarter. They held the Nuggets to 20 points in the final 12 minutes and Gary Payton II was a massive part of that. He finished the game over Jordan Poole who had been playing very poorly. Draymond Green anchored the defense and was all over the place. He stuck to Jokic on occasion and helped set the defensive tempo. Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were very solid and helped limit the amount of outside shots. 

It certainly helps that Curry is looking back to his best. He constantly attacked a fatigued Jokic on the other end and made some clutch shots. Curry has scored 16, 34, 27, 33 and 30 points in this playoffs series. He has been a consistent source of volume scoring and seems to be getting even better. 


The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Chicago Bulls 116-100 to win game 5 and advance to the eastern conference semifinals. Giannis led all scorers with 33 points. The Bucks will face the Celtics in a blockbuster semi-final matchup.