Entering the game, the Warriors and the Nuggets were the No. 1 and No. 3 scoring teams, respectively. Neither team was able to shoot 40 percent in the first half, and the 42-40 score in Denver's favor was unanticipated by most who had watched this series unfold.
As surprising as the two stagnant offenses were early, the surprise of the contest came during the pregame warm-ups. David Lee, who had previously been declared out for the remainder of the playoffs, was dressed and on the floor, and he ended up playing for a brief moment in the first half.
His impact was small, but it's a sign that he may be able to play a bigger role the further the team gets.
In the third quarter, Golden State began to turn it on, and it was once again because of Stephen Curry. Following a quiet, inefficient first half, the guard came out with a willingness to keep shooting, and he helped the Warriors outscore the Nuggets 33-20 in the period.
With an 11-point lead heading into the fourth, Golden State had all the momentum, but the Nuggets had one final run left in them. A 13-0 run halfway through the fourth made this one a contest, and the mistakes of a youthful Warriors roster nearly cost them in the end.
Heading into a second-round series with the San Antonio Spurs, two things are clear. First, when the Warriors are on fire, they might be the most fun team to watch in the NBA. Unfortunately for them, the other thing to note is how close they were to giving this one away.
Turnovers and poor late-game execution won't cut it against San Antonio, and those will be two things to focus on in their first second-round appearance since 2007.