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Nuggets stave off elimination with Game 4 win over Warriors

Apr 24, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots past Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney (5) in the first quarter of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic scored 37 points, Monte Morris had 19 of his 24 in the second half and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 126-121 on Sunday to avoid a sweep of the first-round series.

Aaron Gordon had 21 points, Bones Hyland scored 15 and DeMarcus Cousins 10 for Denver, which trails the series 3-1. Game 5 is at Golden State on Wednesday night.

Steph Curry had 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. Klay Thompson scored 32 points, Andrew Wiggins added 20, Draymond Green finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out and Jordan Poole scored 11 for the Warriors.

The Nuggets were ahead 113-103 with six minutes to play when Golden State made a run. Thompson hit a 3-pointer, Curry made a layup, Green fed Wiggins for a dunk and Thompson drained a baseline jumper to make it 115-112 with 3:31 left.

Jokic’s short jumper made it a five-point game but Curry sank two free throws and Wiggins’ dunk made it 117-116 with 2:28 left. Gordon hit two free throws but Curry scored the next five points to give the Warriors a 121-119 lead, their first since the first quarter.

Jokic tied it with a layup, Wiggins missed a putback dunk and Morris hit a floater in the lane to give Denver the lead again with 33.5 seconds left.

Austin Rivers stole a Golden State inbounds pass, and then Jokic fed Will Barton for a corner 3-pointer to seal it with 8.3 seconds left.

The Nuggets led 26-21 after the first quarter and built on that lead in the second.

Hyland hit three straight 3-pointers to give Denver its biggest lead of the series, 40-23. Golden State got within eight but the Nuggets took a 63-52 lead into halftime.

Thompson scored five quick points to cut Denver’s lead to 63-57 early in the third quarter, but Morris got hot. He hit five 3-pointers in the period, the last of which put the Nuggets ahead 87-76 with 4:38 left. Curry’s long 3-pointer got the Warriors within six and they trailed 98-89 heading into the fourth.

–Field Level Media