Expected to possibly be the first round's most exciting series, the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors came into Friday night's Game 3 at Oracle Arena looking more like a M.A.S.H. unit than two Western Conference contenders.
That's especially been the case for Golden State. Though the Warriors' Game 2 triumph—in which they swished so many outside shots that the Pepsi Center nets may need replacing—gave them the proverbial "stolen" game on the road, it did not come without cost.
Star guard Stephen Curry suffered a sprained left ankle in the 131-117 win and was listed as a game-time decision, according to the Mercury News' Carl Steward. Coupled with David Lee's torn hip flexor, which will keep him out the rest of the playoffs, Golden State stood the possibility of playing without its two best players on Friday. (Curry, unsurprisingly, decided to suit up.)
As for the Nuggets, their injuries were mostly suffered prior to the postseason. Forward Danilo Gallinari's torn ACL has been a critical blow for Denver, but not for the offensive reasons one assumed at the time. It's been Gallo's underrated defense that has been missing for the Nuggets, as they allowed the Warriors to score at will in Game 2.
Heading to Oakland for Game 3, it was up to the Nuggets to figure out their defensive schemes and find a way to win at Oracle Arena. Golden State's home crowd is among the best in the league, so that task is way easier said than done—even with a hobbled Curry.
How did Game 3 turn out? Let's take a complete look at the highlights from Friday night's action.