The Golden State Warriors are moving on to the Western Conference Semifinals after a thrilling wire-to-wire win over the Denver Nuggets in game 5, 102-98. The Nuggets led for most of this game but couldn’t pull it out in the final quarter while the Warriors played some of their best basketball. The Nuggets were led in scoring by likely back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic who finished with 30 points and 19 rebounds. However, this game was not great for Jokic himself, as he was in foul trouble for most of the second half, finishing with five fouls. Jokic also dealt with a hamstring injury in the second half forcing former all-star DeMarcus Cousins into the game for a majority of the third quarter. However, Cousins gave one of his better performances of the season tonight, finishing with 19 points on 8/12 shooting.
However, their efforts weren’t enough as the Denver offense slowed in the fourth quarter allowing the Warriors to regain the lead in the closing minutes and close out the game. On the Warrior’s side, they were led by former MVP Steph Curry who finished with 30 of his own. The Warriors also got a surprising performance from somebody off the bench with Gary Payton II, who added 15 of his own. The son of hall of fame PG Gary Payton helped close the game for the Warriors with multiple clutch threes. The Nuggets gave all the fight they had in this game, but it just wasn’t enough. They will be looking forward to next season when star PG Jamal Murray and promising forward Michal Porter Jr. both return from injury.
As for the Warriors, they will play either the Memphis Grizzles or the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Semifinals. Memphis is currently leading the series 3-2.