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NBA: Veteran Miller shines in Nuggets' opener

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Veteran guard Andre Miller scored the game-winning layup with 1.2 seconds left to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 97-95 win over Golden State in game one of their opening round NBA playoff series.

The 37-year-old Miller clinched the home win for the Nuggets in Denver, as he beat Warriors defender Draymond Green one-on-one then sailed through the air to finish off the nifty shot.

Miller drove left then shifted right to throw off Green, 23, who couldn't stay with the crafty veteran.

Miller said some much needed time off and whirlpool baths during the break between the end of the regular season on Wednesday and the playoffs helped him maintain his intensity throughout Saturday's playoff thriller.

"The coach gave me a couple days of rest," he said. "We had a couple of light practices so I did some icing and some jacuzzi, and it helped out there down the stretch."

The game was the first of two Western Conference matchups on the opening day of the playoffs, with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies taking the court in an evening contest.

Warriors star Stephen Curry was also instrumental down the stretch as he drained a three pointer from the left side to level the score with just 14 seconds left in the fourth in front of a crowd of 19,155.

But as good as he was, Curry couldn't outdo Miller, who finished with a game-high 28 points for the Nuggets. Denver earned their 24th straight win at home.

Ty Lawson had 12 points, while Wilson Chandler finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the third-seeded Nuggets.

Evan Fournier started for Denver in place of forward Kenneth Faried, who is suffering from a left ankle injury and did not play. Fournier had 11 points.

Game two of the best-of-seven series is slated for Tuesday in Denver.

"Both teams have got to go back to the drawing board. It could have gone either way tonight so we have got to be better prepared on Tuesday," Miller said.

Klay Thompson had 22 points, while Curry added 19 points and nine assists for sixth seeded Golden State.

David Lee added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors before hobbling out of the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent hip injury -- a blow for a Warriors team in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130420/nba-veteran-miller-shines-nuggets-opener