In 438 best-of-seven playoff series throughout NBA history, only eight teams have rallied from 3-1 deficits to win. But coach Mark Jackson is having nothing with the odds that favor the Warriors to advance as they head into Denver for Game 5 on Tuesday.
"We expect to see a tough Denver Nuggets team that's fighting for its playoff life, that's prepared and ready to keep the series going," Jackson said Monday. "The most difficult game is the close-out game. I've got a young team, and if we keep doing what we're doing, we'll put ourselves in position to move on. But it's a tough task, because this is a very good Nuggets team."
The last team to complete a comeback from being down 3-1 was the 2006 Phoenix Suns. Kobe Bryant led the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers to the 3-1 advantage, but Phoenix won three games fairly handily to salvage the series. In 2003, the Orlando Magic got up 3-1 on top-seeded Detroit, but the Pistons rallied after the Magic's Tracy McGrady pronounced that it felt good to get out of the first round.
The Warriors are making no such pronouncements.
"(The Nuggets) are going to come out and give us their best shot," forward Draymond Green said. "Who wouldn't, especially when they're facing elimination? They're going to be physical, they're going to try to create turnovers, they're going to pressure the ball. Especially going into that building, you have to exceed their energy level, because they're going to go on runs and the crowd's going to get into it."
Another number that doesn't favor the Nuggets: In seven of his eight seasons as Denver's coach, George Karl has failed to get out of the first round, three of those times with home-court advantage in the series.
"I was just in the lounge with him (at the Warriors' downtown practice facility) and he's doing fine," Jackson said. "We won't be doing much today, but obviously it will be important for him to continue to get treatment, take care of his body and be ready (Tuesday) night, because we certainly need him."
Curry, who scored 22 of his 31 points in a magical third quarter, said after the game that the painkilling injection he received in his ankle took awhile to take effect. It is uncertain how serious the hamstring injury may be, but it has been reported as a mild strain.
After getting poked in the eye by the Nuggets' Corey Brewer in the fourth quarter, Curry said his vision was not impaired and that he could have stayed in the game had it been necessary.
The Warriors did not practice Monday, and Curry was not available for comment.
"It was great, I thought the crowd was incredible, and I think the cat is out of the bag that I'm the second-most talented person in my family," Jackson said.
Jackson said he paid a little more attention to this anthem performance than he normally does.
"As a player and a coach, when the anthem is being played or sang, I go into prayer -- even last night," the coach said. "I'm listening, but I'm going into prayer. Somebody asked me if I was nervous. No, no, that's hilarious."
"He's been huge," Jackson said. "When you lose a David Lee, the impact (Landry) has on this team -- his ability to score, put pressure on a defense, make plays, rebound, defend, lead -- it's a credit to our ownership and management. They went and got a guy that, behind David, we felt extremely comfortable and confident about. He has not disappointed."