DENVER -- You know what the Warriors could really use now: one of those monster games from point guard Stephen Curry.
"He's done it all year," second-year guard Klay Thompson said. "On the big stages, too."
After an ice-cold start, Curry warmed up in the second half, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in Saturday's 97-95 Warriors loss to Denver in the first game of their playoff series. But facing an 0-2 hole, with All-Star David Lee knocked out of the series by a torn right hip flexor, the Warriors need Curry to get hot.
The Warriors pulled out a lot of stops to get Curry open, as Denver swarmed him with bigger and extra defenders. Still, he finished with just 19 points on 7-of-20 shooting as Golden State shot 41.3 percent. That's not going to cut it from Curry in this series.
But if he gets the shots he took in Game 1, the feeling in Warriors camp is he just might have that big game.
"Steph had some great looks," coach Mark Jackson said. "I'll take the looks that he had all night long."
Denver finished the regular season having allowed the second-most 3-pointers in the NBA and ranked 20th in field goal percentage defense. That weakness was relatively unexploited in Game 1 as the Warriors were 8 of 22 from deep (36.4 percent). During the regular season, Golden State was 20-8 in games it shot at least 45 percent from 3-point range.
So, for that matter, the Warriors need Thompson to stay hot, too.
"I think I can do a lot better," Thompson said. "I missed some easy shots. ... It was a slightly above average game."
The second-year guard led the Warriors with 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
"Bogut's presence has to be talked about," Karl said of Warriors center Andrew Bogut. "He was very efficient, effective in a lot of ways."
It makes sense Bogut caught the Nuggets off guard. He didn't play in any of the four regular-season meetings. So his nine-point, 14-rebound, four-block performance Saturday was quite the revelation.
The question now is can Bogut duplicate it for Game 2 on Tuesday. With Lee out, it's practically a must if Golden State is to head to Oracle with a split.
"When he plays that way, when his body feels comfortable enough for him to play that way, we're a different team," Jackson said. "I think the issue is how he feels and how his body responds."
Bogut certainly has Denver's attention now.
"I think so," Nuggets guard Ty Lawson said. "We probably pay a little bit more attention to him next game."