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Curry, Bogut lead Warriors to second-round playoff berth

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

U.S. Sports Desk, May 3 (EFE).- The Golden State Warriors pulled off the biggest surprise of the NBA playoffs thus far, wrapping up a 4-2 series victory over the Denver Nuggets to advance to a second-round match-up against the San Antonio Spurs.

Star guard Stephen Curry and center Andrew Bogut were the keys for the Warriors in a series-clinging 92-88 victory Thursday night in Oakland over the Nuggets, a team of relative no-names who overachieved during the regular season but lacked an elite player to carry them in the playoffs.

Curry started slowly and missed five of his six field-goal attempts in the first half, which ended with the Nuggets leading 42-40.

But he came alive to score 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors - the sixth seed in the Western Conference - outscored Denver 33-20 to take the lead for good.

Curry, who also dished out eight assists, got plenty of help from Bogut, who left behind a host of injury problems in recent years to have his best game since coming to the Warriors from the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade last year.

For the game, Bogut tallied 14 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks to dominate the paint against the Nuggets' big men.

Warriors fans also got some unexpected good news when star forward David Lee, whom the team had said was out for the season with a hip-flexor injury, came in off the bench to play briefly.

Lee, however, said afterward that he would still not be ready to play major minutes in the series against the Spurs.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, were led by Andre Iguodala, who scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out six assists.

The third-seeded Nuggets, winners of 23 of their last 26 regular-season games despite not having an All-Star player on their roster, struggled throughout the series to contain Curry, who scored 29 points in Game 3 and 31 points in Game 4 as the Warriors grabbed a 3-1 series lead.

Prior to Thursday night's game, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson was hit with a $25,000 fine for accusing the Nuggets of dirty play and trying to injure Curry intentionally.

Next up for the Warriors will be the Spurs, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.

In one other playoff game Thursday night, the Brooklyn Nets scored a 95-92 road victory over the Chicago Bulls to take that first-round series to a decisive seventh game.

The defending champion Miami Heat loom for the winner.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130503/curry-bogut-lead-warriors-second-round-playoff-berth