Reporting Jeffrey Schaub
OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Golden State Warriors have a chance to close out their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena on Thursday night in Oakland, but also know it’s not necessarily a must-win game.
Star point guard Stephen Curry has been a major focal point in the hotly-contested series – whether it’s his scoring outburst in the third quarter of Game 4, where he scored 22 points in the final 6:22 of the period, his nagging injuries or his comments after Game 5, hinting the Nuggets “have a hit on me.” He said the team would love to advance in front of the home fans in Oakland.
“We’re excited about the opportunity. We dropped the ball in Game 5, but we still have control of the series,” Curry said on Thursday. “If we play the way we’re supposed to play, we feel good about our chances. It’s not a must-win, but it’s a big opportunity for us to be at home and have a chance to clinch against a team that no one gave us a shot to beat.”
The game is of course a sellout and if Games 3 and 4 were any indication, both teams can expect a loud, passionate and raucous crowd inside Oracle Arena. “We expect a raucous atmosphere. We expect to come out like we did for the first four games. Even though we lost Game 1, we played well,” Curry said. “We need to get back to that style of play.”
In terms of physical play, while the Warriors may have been caught a bit off-guard in the first half of Game 5, Curry said they improved in the second half, playing a much more aggressive style, which was what helped the team grab a 3-1 series lead in the first place. He said the Warriors are prepared for a fight from the Nuggets.
“They understand that they can’t lose again. They have to try to do whatever they can to take us out of our game and make an imprint early,” said Curry. “We have to be ready for it and we have to do the same. We don’t want to go back to Denver in a Game 7 situation. It’s about who wants it more and I think we have a bunch of hungry guys who want to continue to taste what these playoffs are like and get to the next round.”
Game 6 is Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
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