On the brink of elimination in Game 5, a desperate Denver Nuggets team came out and extended their season. It was a gritty effort, which according to Golden State Warriors head Mark Jackson, veered a little too much on the “dirty” side.
An infuriated Jackson told the assembled media following the 107-100 loss that the Nuggets sent “hit men” after Stephen Curry. Those alleged tactics limited Curry to 15 points on 7/19 shooting from the field, and Denver lived to fight another day.
Per the Denver Post:
“They tried to send hit men on Steph. … The screen (set) on Curry by the foul line was a shot at his ankle clearly. That can’t be debated,” an intense Mark Jackson said after the loss, which set up Game 6 Thursday at Oracle Arena. “I’ve got inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball. And they clearly didn’t co-sign it. So they wanted to let me know that they had no parts in what was taking place. Let the best team win, and with the exception of going down with a freak injury, let everybody leave out of here healthy. That’s not good basketball.”
“We’re not dirty at all,” said Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. “If you watch the first games, you see (Andrew) Bogut chucking people, Festus (Ezeli) hitting me for no reason. It’s not dirty, we’re just trying to even it out. We weren’t trying to go after Curry – if he’s coming through the lane, just make sure he doesn’t get down there easily. If I get through the lane, I’m getting hit 3-4 times, illegal (hits) and everything. I’m not complaining and calling them basketball. It’s the game of basketball, you’ve got to man up.”
A visibly frustrated Stephen Curry agreed with his coach’s assertion that he was targeted last night, but claims that this is a “fun” and inescapable part of the NBA Playoffs:
“Man, I’m not going to back down,” Curry said calmly and icily after describing Denver’s legal and illegal shots at him through the game. “It’s fun — a fun atmosphere, fun type of basketball. They’re trying to do anything they can to get back in the series, so you’ve got to expect it.”
Game 6 can’t get here soon enough.