Stephen Curry was target of Nuggets’ ‘hit men,’ Mark Jackson says


Clearly, the Warriors didn’t like what they saw. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors weren’t taking kindly to the Denver Nuggets’ style of play Tuesday night, saying that what the Nuggets did to Stephen Curry was more worthy of “The Sopranos” than the NBA playoffs.

“They tried to send hit men on Steph, ” Warriors Coach Mark Jackson said after the Nuggets’ 107-100 victory, “but give them credit. It wasn’t cocky basketball; they outplayed us. It wasn’t magic; they outplayed us.”

Asked for specifics, Jackson said: “The screen on Curry by the foul line is a shot at his [injured] ankle, clearly. That can’t be debated,” he said. “I’ve got inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball, and they clearly didn’t co-sign it. So they wanted to let me know that they had no parts in what was taking place.”

Curry has emerged as one of the stars of the postseason so far, but the Nuggets kept him to 15 points in a 107-100 victory in Game 5 of their first-round series.

Stephen Curry has some questions concerning the officiating. (David Zalubowski / AP)
Stephen Curry has some questions concerning the officiating. (David Zalubowski / AP)

“Whether they’re taking cheap shots or not, we’ll discuss that at the end of the series,” Andrew Bogut said (via the San Jose Mercury-News’ Tim Kawakami). “We just need to match their physicality and we’re going to do that in Game 6.”

Denver felt it won with D — defensive, not dirty, play.

“We’re not dirty at all,” Ty Lawson, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds, said. “… We weren’t trying to go after Curry – if he’s coming through the lane, just make sure he doesn’t get down there easily. If I get through the lane, I’m getting hit three, four times, illegal [hits] and everything. … It’s the game of basketball. You’ve got to man up.”

It was a frustrating night in Denver for the Warriors, who trail 3-2 in the series that now moves back to Oakland. Curry drew a technical in the second quarter for shoving Kosta Koufos. Andrew Bogut was assessed a flagrant foul for shoving Kenneth Faried. Draymond Green also got a flagrant for a fourth-quarter hit on Faried.

“They play dirty every night,” Faried said. “They’ve targeted me.”

Curry lost his patience after the game, yelling at a fan who “said something dumb” as he headed up the tunnel to the locker room. Afterward, he sounded more than ready for Thursday night’s Game 6.

“Man, I’m not going to back down,” Curry said. “It’s fun — a fun atmosphere, fun type of basketball. They’re trying to do anything they can to get back in the series, so you’ve got to expect it.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | April 30, 2013