Stephen Curry scored 22 points to go with eight assists, Andrew Bogut broke out with the best performance of his injury-saddled season and the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Denver Nuggets with a 92-88 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night in Oakland, Calif.
Bogut had season-bests and career-playoff highs of 14 points and 21 rebounds, and rookie Draymond Green added a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds to power Golden State into the second round for the first time in six years.
The Warriors went ahead by 18 points early in the fourth before holding off one final Nuggets flurry.
Andre Iguodala scored 24 points and Ty Lawson had 17 in another disappointed early exit for Denver, which has lost in the first round nine of the past 10 seasons.
The Nuggets won 23 of their final 26 regular-season games to earn the Western Conference’s third seed, then lost four of six to the hot-shooting Warriors.
Golden State only outshot the Nuggets 40.3 percent to 34.7 percent in the finale but dominated the rebounding matchup again, 55-44. The Warriors overcame 21 turnovers – including 10 in the fourth – while the Nuggets only had seven.
All-Star forward David Lee made a surprising return for the Warriors after not dressing the previous four games with what the team had called a season-ending hip injury. He grabbed one rebound and missed one jumper in 87 seconds off the bench in the first quarter.
Golden State will open the second round at San Antonio on Monday. The Spurs swept the Lakers in four games.
Nets 95, Bulls 92: Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points, and visiting Brooklyn again avoided elimination, beating short-handed Chicago to tie their first-round series at 3.
The series goes back to Brooklyn for Game 7 on Saturday. The winner gets Miami in the second round.
The Bulls hung in until the end even though they were missing Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich.
Marco Belinelli started at shooting guard and scored 22 points.
Strep throat won’t sideline Harden
Rockets star James Harden has been diagnosed with strep throat and is still expected to play tonight in Game 6 against the Thunder.
Harden had what the team called flu-like symptoms on Wednesday, but he scored 31 points to lead Houston to a 107-100 win in Game 5.
Kahn out with Wolves; Saunders may return
David Kahn is out as president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Flip Saunders is coming in.
The Timberwolves announced that owner Glen Taylor has decided not to pick up the option for next season on Kahn’s contract. Three people with knowledge of the situation tell the Associated Press that Taylor is putting the finishing touches on a deal to hire Saunders as Kahn’s replacement.
Kahn spent four seasons leading the Timberwolves. His teams went 89-223 and missed the playoffs in all four of his seasons. Saunders coached the Wolves from 1995-2005.