Apr 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl talks with his team during a time out in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: Denver Nuggets Stay Alive, Win Game 5 At Home

The Denver Nuggets entered Game 5 in Denver with their backs against the wall … and they played like it.

They fought off elimination with a gutsy win, showing an intensity that hasn’t been shown yet this series. Unlike the previous four games, highlighted by finesse and sharpshooting, Game 5 was all about physicality and endurance. And Denver endured.

Denver never trailed and that can be attributed to their incredible defense, keeping Golden State off the scoreboard, and allowing them to really push the break early and effectively leading by as much as 22 points. The Warriors could not match the Nuggets’ toughness either, getting knocked around, especially Stephen Curry who met more than his fair share of solid screens.

Perhaps that played a key role in Curry displaying his first mortal performance of the series. He was limited to 15 points on 7-19 shooting, and made his first and only three pointer with just over five minutes to play in the game.

Key notes:

All five of Denver’s starters scored in double figures and Andre Miller scored 11 points off the bench. Denver has played better throughout this series, even in their losses, when everybody is touching the ball. They put themselves in better position to win by spreading the ball around.

If there’s anything for Denver to worry about, it’s that they let a lead that had been as much as 22 points slip away and had to fight to the buzzer essentially, despite Stephen Curry’s ineffectiveness. In addition to that, Golden State still shot higher percentages, though only slightly, from the field and from three. This shows that Denver has to play pretty much perfect basketball to beat this Golden State team. Looking back to Games 2 and 3, Denver did not play poorly at all. Golden State was just that much better. That places more pressure on Denver in the next game or two.

Be sure to sound off with your thoughts and comments in the box below or on my Twitter @JohnYJArmstrong.

Catch Game 6 on Thursday, May 6, 2013. Tip off will be at 10:30 PM ET.

Tags: Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors NBA Playoffs

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