OAKLAND -- The Warriors find themselves in the driver's seat. A win at home on Sunday, and they've got the Denver Nuggets on the ropes.

But coach Mark Jackson wants no talk about winning the series.

Perhaps Jackson knows winning Game 4 at Oracle Arena on Sunday might be the most difficult task to date. It stands to reason Golden State will get the best performance that a desperate Denver team has to offer.

"It's 2-1. It's too early to start talking 'put 'em away,' " Jackson said. "We've got too much respect for them. That's a heck of a team. It's about winning the next one, and that's our mindset."

But Golden State has a lot to be confident about heading into Game 4. Primarily, their star point guard appears to have survived the injury scare that unnerved Warriors fans.

Clearly, his ankle was fine enough to be a pain to Denver. And with another 11/2 daysrest and treatment, his ankle figures to be stronger for Game 4.

He didn't practice Saturday and is not 100 percent. In Game 3, especially early, he insisted on driving left to prevent pushing off his sprained left ankle. And you didn't see the sudden bursts and change of direction he relies on.

But Curry was able to manage his latest gimpy wheel. He played without his ankle brace, taking it off because he felt he had enough tape already. He decided against a pain-killing injection.

"It's just a weird feeling," Curry said of the ankle brace on top of the heavy tape. "I have to get used to wearing it on my left (leg)."


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The Warriors also head into Game 4 feeling good about having beat Denver in two ways. Game 2, they went full-throttle on the tempo and blew past the Nuggets. In Game 3 they grinded it out, "matching force with force" as they say, surviving a physical and close affair.

Golden State is expecting another intense and physical affair in Game 4. The Nuggets had some success with their trapping defense, forcing 23 turnovers. Plus Denver finally got its transition game going and racked up a series-high 18 second-chance points.

After the game, coach George Karl suggested the Nuggets were in a good position because of the positives from their performance Saturday. So the Warriors are expecting Denver to turn it up a notch.

"We're going to go at them and they're going to go at us," rookie forward Draymond Green said. "These are crucial games. Any game can change a series. I don't expect anyone to come out and lay down and think the intensity level is too high. ... You've got to be expected to raise your intensity level every game."

The Warriors don't know what form the game will take, but they feel ready either way.

They've got a few guys rolling in addition to Curry. Guard Jarrett Jack, rookie Harrison Barnes and forward Carl Landry have each stepped up their offensive production in the absence of injured forward David Lee (torn right hip flexor). So if it's an uptempo game, the Warriors feel good about that.

What's more, center Andrew Bogut has made his presence felt in the middle. Bogut, Landry, center Festus Ezeli and Green are taking the physical play to the Denver. Their stiff screens, hard fouls, assertive block outs and banging in the paint have frustrated the Nuggets' big men and caused Denver's wings to live outside the key.

"You never know in the playoffs. Every game is different," Landry said. "Coach told us to keep our foot on the gas pedal and the most aggressive team will probably win. ... Heart. That's all it takes."

Despite their accomplishments in the series, Jackson still is playing the underdog card.

Golden State is a defensive stop in the final seconds of Game 1 from being up 3-0 in the series, yet Jackson talks as if the Warriors have cause for concern.

Either he's guarding against complacency, or he knows Game 4 will be a steep hill to climb.

"They're an excellent team," Jackson said. "All we're trying to do is put ourselves in position to win this series. ... We're trying to beat them four times. And it takes being consistent with the details."