OAKLAND, Calif. — Power forward Kenneth Faried hit a 10-foot turnaround jumper in the lane with five-tenths of a second remaining Thursday night, lifting the Denver Nuggets to a stunning, 100-99 victory that prevented the Golden State Warriors from clinching a playoff spot.
The Warriors appeared headed to their clinching win when point guard Stephen Curry drove through the Denver defense to hit a 5-foot flip shot that put Golden State up 99-98 with 4.7 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Faried took an inbounds pass and drove into the key guarded by Warriors forward Draymond Green. Faried then spun and connected from in front of the hoop to stun a Golden State crowd that was preparing to celebrate a return to the postseason.
Faried’s game-winner capped an 18-point, 17-rebound performance that was nearly overshadowed by a 23-point, 29-rebound explosion from Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov. The 29 rebounds were an NBA single-game high this season.
Winning for the second time in two nights, the Nuggets (35-44) dominated the boards, outrebounding Golden State 63-38. The Warriors were playing without starting power forward David Lee, who has nerve inflammation in his right leg.
The loss dropped the Warriors 2 1/2 games behind Portland in the race for the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference. Golden State (48-30) must win at least one of its final four games to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye backed Faried and Mozgov with 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists.
Denver outscored Golden State 30-18 from behind the 3-point arc.
Curry had 24 points and backcourt mate Klay Thompson had 21 for the Warriors, but each shot just 8-for-19. Center Jermaine O’Neal came off the bench to add 12 points.
Held to 15 points in the first quarter and down by as many as 20 in the first half, the Nuggets rallied in the third period to get within 75-73. Denver took its first lead of the game at 83-80 on a 3-pointer by backup forward Darrell Arthur with 7:50 remaining in the game.
Baskets by Mozgov and backup guard Evan Fournier helped Denver go up 90-85 with 6:08 remaining. The Warriors immediately countered with six consecutive points, the last two on a dunk by forward Andre Iguodala that gave Golden State a one-point lead with 4:53 left and set up the exciting finish.
The Warriors appeared headed to a third consecutive home blowout when they held the Nuggets to 24.1 percent shooting in the first quarter while building a 28-15 lead. Thompson had nine points in the quarter for the Warriors, who made half their 24 shots.
Denver’s offense finally awakened early in the second period, and the visitors were able to get back within five in the third minute of the period. The Warriors responded with a 17-2 flurry, capped by a Thompson 3-pointer, to open a 47-27 advantage.
Mozgov, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the first half, added six points and eight rebounds to his total in the third period, helping the Nuggets close a 10-point deficit to two by period’s end.
NOTES: When the Warriors and Nuggets met in the first round of the playoffs last season, it marked the 10th consecutive year Denver reached the postseason. That streak will end this year. … The Nuggets are 35-44 record, which would be a half-game out of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. … The Warriors’ hopes of landing the West’s No. 5 playoff position could be determined when they play the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday. … The six injured players left home by the Nuggets included four of their top six scorers — PG Ty Lawson (sprained left ankle), SF Wilson Chandler (strained left groin), PF JJ Hickson (torn right ACL) and PG Nate Robinson (sprained left knee). PF Danilo Gallinari (torn left ACL) and C JaVale McGee (broken left leg) also missed the game.
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