OAKLAND -- When Denver swingman Andre Iguodala's half-court heave banged off the rim, securing Golden State's 110-108 Game 3 win, Warriors guard Jarrett Jack immediately dropped to his knees with his head in his hands.
"I made two critical mistakes," Jack said.
The Warriors tried their best to give the game away. Playing against Denver's pressure defense, shaky from the boost of adrenaline provided by a hyper Oracle Arena, Golden State wound up doing exactly what it had talked so much about not doing.
The Warriors committed 23 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Nuggets. Not only did they squander critical offensive possessions, but they woke up the beast that is the Nuggets' offense. Denver's 16 fast-break points are the most in the series. Lineup changes prompted some of the difficulties.
Iguodala shadowed Warriors guard Klay Thompson most of the night, making life difficult. Thompson had four turnovers.
And Denver instituted a trap of the Warriors point guard just above half-court. The Warriors' looked nervous trying to beat it and the frenzied style led to some miscues that can lose the series if they continue. Jack had seven turnovers.
Certainly, Denver was feeling a lot better despite the loss.
"We got better tonight," Denver coach George Karl said. "We didn't win, but there's a process going on and its just two wins. ... I think it's going to be fun Sunday."
"I expect he's going to be 100 percent," Karl said before the game. "It might be a fake injury."
Sure enough, when Game 3 kicked off, Curry was not only in the lineup, he was making plays as usual. He was the only Warrior to play all 12 first-quarter minutes. He had 11 points, four assists, a steal and two turnovers. He made two of his three attempts from behind the arc. He would finish the game with 29 points and 11 assists.
He didn't have the same sudden burst that punctuates his game. But he wasn't dragging out there either.
Curry was tested almost immediately. A missed 3-pointer by Denver forward Wilson Chandler led to a fast break. Curry took it all the way, drawing a foul on Nuggets guard Ty Lawson.
Perhaps to his advantage, Curry spent a lot of time early moving the ball out of double teams, leading to six assists in 18 first-half minutes. He got into the lane a couple times, using some crafty dribbling. But what was really working was his 3-point shot. He hit 3 of 4 in the first half.
Landry never took off his warm-ups, suggesting he knew Jack was starting.
While the Warriors went with the same lineup as Game 2, Denver switched it up. Out was center Kosta Koufos. In was Kenneth Faried, who played center while Chandler remained the starter at power forward.
Though Landry is coming off the bench, the Warriors are still counting on him to match Faried's energy and make the Denver big men play defense. He had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the first half and finished with 19 points.
"I like being in that position," Landry said before the game. "This is what I've been doing my whole career, taking advantage of opportunities. Whether it's two minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, I can bring the effort."