Draymond Green threw his arms in the air and ran to Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson for an emotional hug. Jarrett Jack squatted down, put his right hand on his head and closed his eyes. Stephen Curry wanted to see it all -- teammates parading around the court, gold confetti in the air, smiles all around the announced sellout crowd of 19,596.
Forget that "We Believe" team.
These Warriors proved they belong.
Curry had 22 points and eight assists, Andrew Bogut broke out with the best performance of his injury-saddled season, and the Warriors eliminated the Denver Nuggets with a 92-88 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night.
"When we go in the locker room, we're jumping up and down, we're hugging, we're changed men," Jackson said. "This is the greatest group of men as far as a team that I've ever been around or seen in my life."
Kenneth Faried put his foot down 48 hours after putting his size-16 sneaker through the wall in the visiting locker room in Oakland, sparking a debate about dirty play.
The Nuggets never trailed, piled up points in the paint, slowed down the Warriors' guards, jumpstarted their transition game and got under Andrew Bogut's skin.
They jumped out to a 22-point lead before weathering the Warriors' frenetic fourth-quarter rally to cut their series deficit to 3-2 and force a Game 6 Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
Andre Miller filled a gaping hole in his basketball resume Saturday.
"I've never hit a game-winning shot," the 37-year-old guard said after sinking a nifty layup with just more than a second left that gave the Denver Nuggets a 97-95 win over theGolden State Warriors in their playoff opener.
Not in high school. Not in college. Not in his 13 NBA seasons.
"Never," Miller repeated. "I've taken a couple and missed or turned the ball over. But that was big for a first playoff game."
With the youthful Nuggets in danger of losing at home for the first time in more than three months, Miller stepped up and scored 18 of his playoff career-high 28 points in the frenetic fourth quarter that made up for a plodding start to this much-anticipated series between two of the NBA's highest-octane teams.