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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from April 20th

A dream match between CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes ushered in an episode of AEW Dynamite that promised another big announcement from Tony Khan, the latest in rising tensions between Wardlow and former protégé MJF and Darby Allin vs. (Author: Gardener)

April 20thA dream match between CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes ushered in an episode of AEW Dynamite that promised another big announcement from Tony Khan, the latest in the rising tensions between Wardlow and former protégé MJF and Darby Allin vs. What Went Down and What It Was means for the company when one of its premier pay-per-view events approaches? Find out with this recap of TBS' April 20 broadcast. The dream match between the two hugely popular stars CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes opened Wednesday's show and fans poured in Pittsburgh was firmly behind both men. In a great old-school wrestling match, each man would target and work on a limb of his opponent. In the end, it was Punk who countered Rhodes' own counter and stacked him in a rollup for the win. The in-ring psychology and storytelling on display is something only wrestlers with the experience and appreciation for the artistry of wrestling can pull off. Punk and Rhodes were there, did that, but still did the work that reflects their love for the industry. As Punk gears up for a high-profile match against another babyface in "Hangman" Adam Page, this was a great take on and a preview of what to expect when they meet, presumably at the double over Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas or Nothing about the former's winning streak and at the same time about his opponent in the Hall of Fame The main heat of the fight turned. Rhodes kicked Punk sideways and into the ring post, his left arm slamming into it as the former's attention returned to the limb. The near fall of The Naturals snap powerslam had fans thinking they were upset. The looming ace between Punk and Rhodes and the former's stardown with Hangman Page were equally great. The latter all but confirmed the upcoming AEW World Championship Match. For a moment it seemed like the young team of Lee Moriarty, Brock Anderson and Dante Martin would do the unthinkable and upset the Blackpool Combat Club. Pittsburgh home hero Moriarty pounced on Daniel Bryan and came dangerously close to subduing The American Dragon before Jon Moxley exploded into the match and ultimately scored the win for his team. This was a high-energy trio match that managed to keep the BCC going with their victory while giving Moriarty, Martin and Anderson a chance to shine against former world champion and red-hot Wheeler Yuta. Moriarty looked great and was clearly even more motivated by the hometown crowd. Danielson finally mentioned him by name early in the story. William Regal mentioned his friendship with Arn Anderson and their history together, then revealed he was so good at preparing his team for what to expect from young Brock Anderson. Regal is an expert at bringing credibility and legitimacy to the industry, and this was no different. Moriarty, who answered Danielson's slap with one of his own, was a great moment of defiance for a man unfazed by his opponent's resume or reputation. Tony Khan, with a little help from Adam Cole, announced Forbidden Door in Chicago on June 26th. The event will be a collaborative extravaganza featuring stars from AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and on Friday on Rampage, Cole will face off against Tomohiro Ishii in an Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Qualifier. "Switchblade" Jay White made a surprise appearance, ending a brief promo by reminding fans that whether it's Undisputed Elite or Bullet Club, "it's still our era." Branded event conveying Khan's willingness to collaborate with other event organizers for the benefit of the audience. Following the announcement, MJF introduced Wardlow without theme music for his match with The Butcher, the hired weapon of the kerchief-wearing heel. Wardlow absorbed everything thrown at him by his massive opponent, overcame a damaged lower back and Butcher's own powerbomb finisher to deliver four consecutive powerbombs for the emphatic victory. Rarely beautiful, the struggle of the great men further legitimized Wardlow and overlaid the unstoppable force that The War Dog has become since the start of the new year. The fans' chants of "Bullet Club" reminded the wrestling world that the faction may not be the star-studded group of competitors it once was, but it still has a lot of accumulated equity in fans who have shaped the industry through it newly discovered. Wardlow laughed after the win, knowing full well the showdown with MJF is inevitable. The four straight powerbombs for a man the size of Butcher was an impressive sight and the kind of star moment Wardlow must continue to compile with his old pal Max en route to the match. Kyle O'Reilly wrestled his first AEW on Wednesday -Singles match and defeated Jungle Boy to advance to the Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament in a solid wrestling match. The styles seemed to occasionally clash, and O'Reilly decided against selling certain moves while transitioning into others didn't help, but there was a lot to like about this one. Another opportunity would likely lead to an even better match. It was imperative that O'Reilly go here to maintain some semblance of credibility. RedDragon hasn't picked up many notable wins, and their recent loss to Jurassic Express put them in jeopardy of being perceived as little more than Adam Cole's sidekick at the tournament. Eddie Kingston vowed to whip Daniel Garcia in the ass in a cross armbreaker on Friday night on Rampage in a match where the other members of the Jericho Appreciation Society, as well as Santana and Ortiz are all ringside, was a great spot and gave turn on the sound for the match. O'Reilly, who basically didn't sell an overhead suplex into the corner only to work an armbar on the top rope, was an interesting pick. hook in action; Sammy Guevara and Scorpio Sky Set Up a TNT Title RematchHook made its dynamite-in-ring debut this week with a crucial win over Anthony Henry. The rookie competitor dominated the action, taking out his opponent with a Tazmission, but not without a cameo from Danhausen. After the match, the enraged Danhausen formally challenged the winner to a match, to which Hook brushed him off and walked out. The match introduced little more than Hook to Dynamite audiences, although chances are if you watch every Wednesday night you'll be more than familiar with the second-generation star. That being said, the excitement surrounding Danhausen's first match was a pretty big deal and should make for one of the most entertaining matches in recent memory. Back in the arena, Sammy Guevara clipped a defiant promo in the face of boos from fans. Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert interrupted and back and forth trash-talking gave way to two major developments: Next week Guevara will defend the TNT title against Sky in a ladder match and Sky and Paige VanZant will face off against Guevara and Tay Conti in one unknown time. The roles were definitely reversed here, with Guevara and Conti embracing heel personalities while Lambert and co. were clearly the baby faces. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic unfolds over the coming weeks. Breaking Danhausen's hook and pulling a grin out of him was a great moment, as did the latter, as a show of disrespect, clashed with his potential opponent, apparently unfazed by the idea of ​​a match with the face-painted fan favorite. Lambert spoke with the same conviction as ever, but he toned down the heel rhetoric significantly to show that he, Sky and Page are definitely the good guys in this feud with Guevara Heroine of her hometown, Dr. Britt Baker, from the energy of her family, friends and fans and defeated newcomer Danielle Kamela. The match was solid if unspectacular, made even better by the heat of the crowd. Kamela was great using a terrible towel to choke Baker in the ultimate insult, but it was the good doctor who used a Freiermuth receiver glove to apply the lockjaw and secure the win. Kamela didn't look like someone whose reps were limited in NXT, rather than being related to the former AEW Women's Champion. The department is stocked with many wrestlers the company doesn't actively use, so a full-time contract with AEW may not be on the cards, but a shot as a member of the Ring of Honor women's roster might be a better option. Pittsburgh Steelers' Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth escorted Baker to the ring. Kamela choking Baker with a horrible towel was some great heel work from the former NXT star. Baker, hitting Toni Storm in the face with a slap on cake and leaving company was pretty tough and hopefully sets the stage for a feud between the two. A wild, chaotic coffin match dominated this week's show as Darby Allin attempted to settle his ongoing feud with Andrade El Idolo. Interference from The Blade and Marq Quen of the Andrade family Office, the unveiling of Sting in the crowd, and a brawl through the stands marked the early moments of the competition. A nasty release suplex to the metal bars of the stage left Allin squirming, but the face-painted anti-hero of AEW hit back, overcoming interference from Jose and slamming a pinned coffin lid on El Idolo to secure the win. There will be some who are all for these brawls with tacks and guns, and when done in moderation, they can be hugely effective. If done too often it dilutes the effect and it was bordering on that. Sting splashing out of the stands was a cool moment when we saw it at Revolution and it's always impressive when a guy his age is ready To risk everything for him these philanthropic places. However, doing this too often diminishes the impact and contributes to the "been there, done that" mentality that often encourages going the extra mile before raising the stakes to dangerous levels. The use of tacks on the coffin lid was totally unnecessary and didn't produce the desired effect. That the cameraman missed the shot of Allin slamming the lid on Andrade on his back to catch Jose on his way down the ramp didn't help. The intentions were good, but the match itself was more of a miss than a hit and only further diminished El Idolo's star. Sting showing up as a fan in the crowd disguised as himself was a funny moment. His leap from the stands to his heels below was even more fun. Allin's Tope Suicida on El Idolo, in the coffin, was a cool spot. The Hardys made themselves felt after the match and seemed to be pointing towards a match with Sting and Allin, sort of an intriguing dream match with considerable star power. A double-or-nothing match, for sure, if that's the direction the company is headed.

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Warriors' Draymond Green says Jordan Poole has been "our #1 pick" in the playoffs so far

Green showered his young teammate with praise after a spectacular first three games of the postseason (Author: Gardener)

Draymond GreenThe big question for the Golden State Warriors going into the season was how close Klay Thompson would be to his old self when he eventually returned from back-to-back big surgeries. Little did we know that after three games in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the team's top scorer wouldn't be Thompson or even Stephen Curry. It would be Jordan Poole, a guy who played 11 games in the G League last season. In the first three playoff games of his career, Poole averaged 28.7 points and helped the Warriors lead 3-0 over the Denver Nuggets. Pretty much everyone connected with the organization has commented on Poole's recent rise to stardom, but after Thursday's 118-113 win in Game 3 against Denver, veteran Draymond Green gave his young teammate the highest possible praise. In an on-court interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Green said that Poole has been the team's "No. 1 option" in the playoffs so far. That's pretty incredible considering Poole shares the spot with Curry and Thompson, arguably the two greatest marksmen of all time. "You're talking about a guy who was a third-team All-G League last year and was our No. 1 pick in these playoffs," Green said after the Game 3 win. Before you take that as a perceived slight on Curry, remember he has only played 25 minutes per game after suffering a foot injury that ruled him out of the last 12 games of the regular season. Curry was spectacular, averaging nearly 26 points per game in those 25 minutes, but Green is right that Poole was Golden State's main playmaker most of the time. He has also created for teammates, averaging 4.7 assists per game. With his stellar performance, Poole becomes only the second Warrior to score at least 25 points in his first three playoff games. Poole's spectacular play significantly raised the Warriors' championship cap and created one of the most impressive final lineups in the NBA. Provided he can continue his offense, Golden State is as dangerous as any offense in the league. It's incredible what Jordan is doing," Thompson said after Game 3.

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Golden State Warriors fans are rekindling the NBA draft analyst's old take, calling Jordan Poole the "worst draft pick."

Before Golden State Warriors keeper Jordan Poole went to Denver and made his third straight playoff game with at least 25 points while shooting 65% from the floor (he's the only keeper to have done that in his first three games a series in NBA history), basketball fans started circulating a clip when the 2019 dubs drafted the then 20-year-old Michigan player. However, this wasn't just any clip. (Author: Gardener)

Jordan PooleBefore Golden State Warriors keeper Jordan Poole went to Denver and made his third straight playoff game with at least 25 points while shooting 65% from the floor (he's the only keeper to have done that in his first three games a series in NBA history), basketball fans started circulating a clip when the 2019 dubs drafted the then 20-year-old Michigan player. That clip featured a bold proclamation from former CBS sports writer Reid Forgrave, who called Poole "perhaps the worst pick in the draft far." "And there's nothing against Jordan Poole," Forgrave added. I think the guy could be one Being a rotational NBA player during the day. But if you can find a guy who can come in and take shots, you pick a sophomore, you pick a guy who's 20 years old and needs to grow a little bit. This is a guy you probably could have gotten as an unconscripted free agent, so this is such an overdraft," Forgrave said. However, he wasn't done digging a hole: He went on by noting that the guy , which the Warriors called up at No. 28 overall, was “an absolutely inexplicable choice.” While we have the benefit of three seasons of hindsight to point out and laugh at that attitude, esp Others related to Poole giving some fans recaps of Steph Curry's post-season breakout games, but what's truly "inexplicable" here is the bold proclamation that leaving Poole would be as bad as Forgrave expected. Poole's weaknesses from scouts were that he was immature and careless with the ball, but there was no indication Golden State was interested in drafting a No. 1 option at the time (meaning carelessness doesn't matter) , and maturity doesn't mean Jack if you can produce on the court (which he did in Michigan even when he came off the bench). Even if analyzing college hoops is your job, it's not easy to see every possible ribbon on each of the potential draft picks, in addition to some players who might not even get picked. But when I saw Poole in Michigan, it was pretty clear that he would at least be a solid NBA associate. Look at this guy named Gabe Fernandez, who at the time was just a hip news writer at a big sporting goods store and saw a bright future for Poole in Golden State. Being a draft analyst isn't easy - even my positive attitude toward Poole included a caveat that undercut what he's become - but what's easy to avoid are bold claims that can look incredibly wrong in hindsight.

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The final playoff win with the Warriors core was "special" for JP.

Alongside three future Hall of Famers, Jordan Poole delivered the stretch in Game 3 to sink the Nuggets. (Author: Gardener)

JPMidway through the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Game 3 between the Warriors and Denver Nuggets, Jordan Poole found himself on the bench as Golden State attempted to secure a win at Mile High City. But with 5:26 left, Kerr brought Poole on and the third-year guard snuffed out Golden State's 118-113 win alongside Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, with Andre Iguodala also making his contribution. Poole's first two playoff games were blowouts as the Warriors rolled over the Nuggets in the Bay Area and took a two-to-zero lead in the series. This was Poole's first real moment in the playoff pressure cooker. The confidence to finish a playoff game alongside Curry, Thompson and Green meant a lot to the third-year guard. "It was very special to be out there late in the game and at this moment with these guys," said Poole after the game. Being able to just see guys take big shots and make big plays and have a laser focus, that's something really special to be a part of and to be able to experience. It was definitely special to be a part of Thompson tonight and showed on Thursday that he's built for the championship grind, just like they are. Everyone was making big plays at the track on Thursday night as the desperate Nuggets threw everything at them. Thompson knocked down several 3-pointers to stop runs, Green was stripped from Nikola Jokic via the game's biggest play and Curry put the Mile High City to sleep with a clutch layup, but it was a mind-blowing layup by Poole and a massive 3-pointer from Wiggins, her first big playoff moments that got the attention of Kerr. "The fun part is seeing Jordan go through this for the first time," Kerr said. “Really seeing [Andrew Wiggins] show up. I thought he had the shot of the game; That turn three was huge. "We have an interesting mix of all these vets who have been there and then some news people who get a taste of what it's like. A week ago, the Warriors were an unknown when it came to the championship picture. We hadn't seen the new Death lineup. It was only their first Test, but Poole and Wiggins passed with flying colors, earning their place alongside the three future Hall of Famers in the final line-up. Less than a week later, now the Warriors look like they have what it takes to complete their planned dynastic resurgence. Curry, Thompson and Green waited two years to return to this phase. They found out Thursday night that they have two other rough drivers who they can trust to deliver the biggest moments.

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Wiggins just keeps doing sweepstakes for the Warriors

When it comes down to it, Andrew Wiggins has prevailed in all three games of the Warriors' first-round series. (Author: Gardener)

Andrew WigginsDENVER -- There are myriad issues with people using the nickname "PTSD" for the Warriors' new small-ball lineup, which has caused the Denver Nuggets first-round pain and agony in three games -- all Golden State wins the NBA playoffs. The P stands for Jordan Poole, the T for Klay Thompson, the S for Steph Curry and the D for Draymond Green. Breaking news: The Warriors don't play 4v5 and fifth member of the group, Andrew Wiggins, was key to all three wins. There was also a brief moment in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Warriors' 118-113 Game 3 win over the Nuggets at the Ball Arena where it looked like Steve Kerr would stay with Andre Iguodala, a key member of the original Death Lineup and Hamptons Five instead of Wiggins. At the time, Wiggins was having a mostly quiet night, at least by box score, and Iguodala is one of the smartest players in the game with years of playoff experience under his belt. Kerr wasn't done with Wiggins, however. "As soon as the game changed and we knew we needed more offense, we went to Wiggs and stepped forward and knocked down that big corner three, which I think was the shot of the game," Kerr said after the win. Returning to the ground, Wiggins had the ball in his hands for an open 3-point try from the left corner - his lucky point all season. He missed and the Nuggets took the lead 18 seconds later. But just 33 seconds later it was time for Wiggins from exactly the same place. This time, the Warriors were two down and had just taken a timeout after the Nuggets took the lead. The moment Poole hit him with a pass straight into his shooting pocket, Wiggins put his feet down and sent him flying behind the line. Wiggins wasn't done there, however. Rejuvenated after the time-out, Wiggins defended the 7ft, 284lb Nikola Jokic at the post, challenged his shot and the reigning MVP, who dominated most of the game, missed his turnaround. With the ball back in the Warriors' hands, Wiggins came through again, this time with his effort. When Curry's 3-point attempt fell short with the Warriors ahead, Wiggins fired for the rim, flying in from the left side and grabbing a huge offensive rebound. The Warriors were mobbed on the glass all night and only had an offensive rebound in the first three quarters. His offensive rebound led to two acrobatic points from Poole, giving the Warriors a three-point lead by 2:15. With Curry's 3-point attempt hanging in the air, three nuggets -- Monte Morris, Will Barton and Jeff Green -- watch, waiting for an easy rebound. "He's been doing the little things in all three games of this series," Green said of Wiggins. It was the third straight game in which he also led the Warriors in rebounds. It's pretty clear that Curry, Poole and Thompson will get their buckets as part of the Warriors' small ball lineup. Green has been a defensive threat but at 6-foot-6 he can't put up big rebound numbers to guard big men who usually tower over him. For the group to be as dominant as they have at times been, the Warriors need him to pick up the pieces, hit open shots and use his athleticism to clean up on the glass. When things got tough, he did just that, for the third game in a row, to give the Warriors a commanding three-game lead over none of the Nuggets, setting up a potential sweep and a needed rest for this Golden State team . Just don't leave out one important part of what matters most: victories. That's what Wiggins has offered the Warriors in this playoff so far.

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Warriors take Nuggets' best shot and take a 3-0 lead

The Denver Nuggets put up a good fight, taking 37 points from Nikola Jokic, but it wasn't enough as the Golden State Warriors won 118-113 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. (Author: Gardener)

NuggetsThe Warriors receive clutch plays from Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole to defeat the Nuggets in Game 3 and take a comfortable 3-0 lead in the series. The Warriors receive clutch plays from Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole to defeat the Nuggets in Game 3 and take a comfortable 3-0 lead in the series. DENVER — Ahead of Thursday night's Game 3, Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone vowed to "go down swinging" in the NBA playoffs against the Golden State Warriors while trying to find a fight within his team. After being beaten in their first two games of round one, the Nuggets put up the biggest fight and life they've had in any series, and yet it wasn't enough as the Warriors clinched a 118-113 win in Denver 3-0 in a row. "You have to feel that kind of adversity and pressure on the road," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. It's good for our team to have that experience and come through because we'll feel it again, especially on the road." Draymond Green added: "When a team is 2-0 down they come out and give you everything what they can i got into this game 3 If you're able to take that hit and come out with a win, you'll go out in Game 4 and take a hit or two, but you lined up well enough to qualify for Golden State in Thursday night's game-winning game. At 34 With .7 seconds left and the Warriors five clear, Green forced Nikola Jokic into his fifth turnover of the night - Green's fourth - when he tapped the ball out of Jokic's grip as the reigning MVP tried to push him back. "The first dribble when he hit me I felt like I still had a good inside position," Green said. At that point, Green had five fouls. Kerr said: "Yes. Green said he didn't hesitate to steal and he's risking getting his sixth foul. You can't play the last four minutes of the game because you're worried about a foul. I have to be ready, committing all of my six fouls at some point in the game.But I can't start playing shy because I picked up my fifth foul of the series Thursday night and finished with 37 points on 14 of 22 shooting with 18 rebounds, five assists and three steals.With Green as a main defender, Jokic had two turnovers and went off the floor 8 of 13 Overall, Jokic has shot 13 of 36 (36%) off the field when guarded by Green this series, compared to 21 of 30 against any other Warriors defender.Green also forced six turnovers while defending Jokic. That's a tie for the most turnovers by a player against a single defenseman this postseason.” “He has so much confidence defensively,” Kerr said. " Reflecting on the game that likely sealed the Warriors' victory in Game 3, Malone said it's not Green's steal that comes to mind, but a game that happened about a minute and 45 seconds earlier. With the Nuggets down 112-111, Stephen Curry pulled up several feet behind the arc for a 3-point shot It edged out, but as Jeff Green, Will Barton and Monte Morris circled the color for the rebound, Andrew Wiggins flew off the Warriors come in to grab the offensive board."That was just one where you play a good defense and the shot gets executed and you kind of get the guys just watching the ball," Malone said. "And it has to be a ball that we make up in this type of game." Wiggins threw the ball back to Curry, who found a wide open Jordan Poole in the corner. Poole met the open shot and finished with a reverse layup instead, allowing d The Warriors took a three lead with 2:15 to go. "We don't get that bucket if he doesn't get that rebound," Poole said. Wiggins had checked back into the game with 4:27 left, which Kerr said was always part of the game plan. Up until that point in the fourth, Kerr kept Andre Iguodala in the game by making "several good plays in a row." But as soon as the game changed and the Warriors knew they needed more offense, they went back to Wiggins. Wiggins hit a go-ahead 3 with 3:05 left, setting Golden State up for good. Kerr called it the "shot of the game". The Warriors also had great performances from Curry, Poole and Klay Thompson, who finished with 27, 27 and 26 points, respectively, becoming the first Warriors trio to each score 25 points in a playoff game since Game 3 of the 2017 NBA -Finals (Curry, Thompson and Durant). Poole is also the first player in the shot-clock era to average 25 points and an 80% effective field goal percentage in the first three games of a postseason. "The fun part is seeing Jordan in it for the first time," Kerr said. This is his third straight playoff game in which he did a really great job putting down shots and making plays. Thompson and Green played together.” “That's the point,” Green said. "There's no better feeling than walking into an opposing team's building and silencing the crowd. There's no better feeling in sport than going into a hostile environment, their crowd - yell, yell - and in the end you win."

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Warriors grab Nuggets' ghost with an impressive win in Game 3

The Nuggets threw everything they had at the Warriors in Game 3, but Golden State prevailed and can end the season in Denver on Sunday. (Author: Gardener)

NuggetsThe tone of Michael Malone's pre-Game 3 press conference was menacing. His Denver Nuggets had been thrashed by the Warriors in Games 1 and 2 of this first-round NBA playoff series, and his strategy was to talk hard and hope his boys got the message. The Nuggets spent Thursday night punching and jabbing and snagging various warriors, even knocking some to the ground. Denver played ugly as requested. The Warriors didn't fight as much, remaining determined, giving and taking the lead until they exited the Ball Arena with a 118-113 win that left them just one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals. "These guys have been around the block a few times, so don't let that stuff bother you," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of veterans Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Andrew Wiggins, playing his eighth playoff game, had a rough night, as did postseason newcomers Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II. But they, along with Otto Porter Jr., made enough big plays at pivotal moments to prevail . "I loved the setting, I loved the way we reacted," Curry said. “In the first two games, everything kind of went according to our wishes. We had big leads and the crowd got behind us. It was nice to see how we reacted to a game like tonight where we got out of goal really well. The first line-up played really well, they made a run and we finished the first half with a 10-point lead. “We knew they were going to come out with a punch in the second half and they did and how would we react then? I'm proud of how everyone played.” The game included 51 personal fouls, 25 from the Warriors and 26 against Denver. The Nuggets committed 11 fouls in the fourth quarter, a stat that vividly illustrates their fear. The game slipped away, and so was the series. "Obviously the frustration is high," said forward Aaron Gordon. "We felt like we should have won that game, it would have been 2-1. It's a whole different series. If the Nuggets know history, and undoubtedly most, they know that no NBA team has recovered from a three-game clean deficit to win a postseason series. With a 111-109 lead and 3:20 minutes remaining, the Nuggets were about to climb out of a 2-0 series hole. Although the Warriors were convincing winners in Games 1 and 2, this was a classic clash that tested the mind and body on both sides. And the Warriors, with their adorned core, 14 championship rings among five players, won the battle of wills. "Typically when you're 2-0 up and you get Game 3 on the road, you put yourself in a pretty good position to pull off a sweep," Green said. "Of course you're 3-0 up because of the numbers. If a team is 2-0 down, they come out and give you everything they have in Game 3. If you're able to take that punch and walk away with a win, you go into Game 4, you've got to take a punch or two. The Nuggets were comfortably beaten in two away games and suffered a painful loss at home. Despite defeating the Warriors three times in four regular-season games, they were the underdogs. Yes," Malone said. We stuck with it, we came down, things got out of hand a few times, we stuck with it, we stayed together, we kept fighting, we fought. You asked me before the game what I was hoping for? “I asked our team this coming Sunday (Game 4), are we going to turn around or are we going to fight like hell and send that back to the Golden State? If we fight like we did tonight, I'll leave the pitch very proud of that group of guys in that dressing room. Because of the way they lost Game 3, Game 4 will be even harder for the Nuggets. The Warriors now have four chances to win the series.

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Warriors take Nuggets' best shot and take a 3-0 lead

The Denver Nuggets put up a good fight, taking 37 points from Nikola Jokic, but it wasn't enough as the Golden State Warriors won 118-113 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. (Author: Gardener)

NuggetsThe Warriors receive clutch plays from Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole to defeat the Nuggets in Game 3 and take a comfortable 3-0 lead in the series. The Warriors receive clutch plays from Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole to defeat the Nuggets in Game 3 and take a comfortable 3-0 lead in the series. DENVER — Ahead of Thursday night's Game 3, Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone vowed to "go down swinging" in the NBA playoffs against the Golden State Warriors while trying to find a fight within his team. After being beaten in their first two games of round one, the Nuggets put up the biggest fight and life they've had in any series, and yet it wasn't enough as the Warriors clinched a 118-113 win in Denver 3-0 in a row. "You have to feel that kind of adversity and pressure on the road," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. It's good for our team to have that experience and come through because we'll feel it again, especially on the road." Draymond Green added: "When a team is 2-0 down they come out and give you everything what they can i got into this game 3 If you're able to take that hit and come out with a win, you'll go out in Game 4 and take a hit or two, but you lined up well enough to qualify for Golden State in Thursday night's game-winning game. At 34 With .7 seconds left and the Warriors five clear, Green forced Nikola Jokic into his fifth turnover of the night - Green's fourth - when he tapped the ball out of Jokic's grip as the reigning MVP tried to push him back. "The first dribble when he hit me I felt like I still had a good inside position," Green said. At that point, Green had five fouls. Kerr said: "Yes. Green said he didn't hesitate to steal and he's risking getting his sixth foul. You can't play the last four minutes of the game because you're worried about a foul. I have to be ready, committing all of my six fouls at some point in the game.But I can't start playing shy because I picked up my fifth foul of the series Thursday night and finished with 37 points on 14 of 22 shooting with 18 rebounds, five assists and three steals.With Green as a main defender, Jokic had two turnovers and went off the floor 8 of 13 Overall, Jokic has shot 13 of 36 (36%) off the field when guarded by Green this series, compared to 21 of 30 against any other Warriors defender.Green also forced six turnovers while defending Jokic. That's a tie for the most turnovers by a player against a single defenseman this postseason.” “He has so much confidence defensively,” Kerr said. " Reflecting on the game that likely sealed the Warriors' victory in Game 3, Malone said it's not Green's steal that comes to mind, but a game that happened about a minute and 45 seconds earlier. With the Nuggets down 112-111, Stephen Curry pulled up several feet behind the arc for a 3-point shot It edged out, but as Jeff Green, Will Barton and Monte Morris circled the color for the rebound, Andrew Wiggins flew off the Warriors come in to grab the offensive board."That was just one where you play a good defense and the shot gets executed and you kind of get the guys just watching the ball," Malone said. "And it has to be a ball that we make up in this type of game." Wiggins threw the ball back to Curry, who found a wide open Jordan Poole in the corner. Poole met the open shot and finished with a reverse layup instead, allowing d The Warriors took a three lead with 2:15 to go. "We don't get that bucket if he doesn't get that rebound," Poole said. Wiggins had checked back into the game with 4:27 left, which Kerr said was always part of the game plan. Up until that point in the fourth, Kerr kept Andre Iguodala in the game by making "several good plays in a row." But as soon as the game changed and the Warriors knew they needed more offense, they went back to Wiggins. Wiggins hit a go-ahead 3 with 3:05 left, setting Golden State up for good. Kerr called it the "shot of the game". The Warriors also had great performances from Curry, Poole and Klay Thompson, who finished with 27, 27 and 26 points, respectively, becoming the first Warriors trio to each score 25 points in a playoff game since Game 3 of the 2017 NBA -Finals (Curry, Thompson and Durant). Poole is also the first player in the shot-clock era to average 25 points and an 80% effective field goal percentage in the first three games of a postseason. "The fun part is seeing Jordan in it for the first time," Kerr said. This is his third straight playoff game in which he did a really great job putting down shots and making plays. Thompson and Green played together.” “That's the point,” Green said. "There's no better feeling than walking into an opposing team's building and silencing the crowd. There's no better feeling in sport than going into a hostile environment, their crowd - yell, yell - and in the end you win."

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Warriors turn back the clock in the NBA playoffs

Led by Stephen Curry and rising Jordan Poole, Golden State put on a throwback performance with their Game 3 win over the Nuggets. (Author: Gardener)

NBALed by Stephen Curry and rising Jordan Poole, Golden State relapsed in their Game 3 win over DENVER – you can forgive Steve Kerr if he's feeling a little deja vu these days. The Warriors secured a 3-0 lead in their round one matchup against the Nuggets Thursday night and potentially sealed the series with a 118-113 win. The win featured all the hallmarks of Golden State basketball from the last decade, including six three-pointers from Klay Thompson, a brilliant display from Draymond Green and even a tomahawk dunk from Andre Iguodala. We should take a minute to appreciate what we'll see as the Warriors return to championship contender status. Thompson didn't play a single NBA minute from June 2019 to January 2022. Steph Curry missed 104 games in the last three years, and entering the 2021-22 season few considered Golden State anything but a follower in a stacked Western conference. There's a big difference for Golden State as the franchise is chasing a different championship. The Splash Brothers have become the Splash Triplets in the past week, with Golden State now having a trio of guards who can light the scoreboard on any given night. Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 53 points going 19-37 from the field, with Curry's shimmy-and-score with 40 seconds remaining an exclamation mark of an impressive performance. But none of the future Hall of Famers was the Warriors' top guard for a third straight game. This could very well be remembered as The Jordan Poole Series for years to come. The Michigan product and eventual first-round pick in the 2019 draft has proven to be a key weapon for Golden State this season, and in three playoff games he has perhaps one of the most notable breakouts in recent memory. Consider this: Poole's 86 points in three games is behind only Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson. Poole shoots 66.6% from the field against Denver, delivering the most efficient barrage of the postseason. A challenging Golden State attack is nothing short of terrifying when Poole lights up the scoreboard. "He looks like a seasoned vet," Thompson said. Poole's postseason rise is a satisfying subplot as Golden State cruises through the first round. But the Warrior's engine was neither Poole nor one of the OG Splash Brothers. Draymond Green continues to drive Golden State on both ends, controlling the competition for significant stretches in each of the first three games. Green had 15 assists and 1 turnover as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead. He's now a plus-45 in 94 playoff minutes after Thursday's win. Green finished Game 3 with just six points on a 2-6 shooting. Green came out with a rage in the first quarter in front of a rowdy Denver crowd. He had five points, four assists and three rim denials in the first 10 minutes of the game, and he finished his 17th career playoff game with at least 10 assists -- the sixth most among active players -- by the last buzzer. Green remains a deadly trapbreaker in 4v3 situations. He orchestrates Golden State's offense with aplomb, directing traffic while firing lasers at Curry for triples and dropping dimes on a slicing Thompson for easy layups. In the last minute he showed his skills in that regard. Denver had one last chance Thursday, trailing 116-111, 34.7 seconds back. Not green. The Golden State do-it-all maestro stopped Jokic's dribbles and swiped on the third rebound, poking the ball away for Denver's 18th turnover of the night. The piece was an impressive physical maneuver in itself. But listen to Green explain the game and you realize you're in the midst of a basketball genius. "The first time he dribbled, when he hit me, I felt like I was in inside position," Green said. "Then he took the second one and it was far away from his body. So I'm already thinking, 'If he dribbles one more time, I'll stab.'...I saw the dribble up and away from his body, and I tried.” There's a significant chance this postseason won't be filled with celebratory confetti and a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy for the Warriors ends. The Golden State's wings can be exposed by the wrong opponent, and there's always a (small) chance of a Cold spell from Curry and Thompson. The Warriors are no longer light years ahead of the league compared to the heights of the previous decade. However, if there are concerns about a potential title run, you won't find him in the Golden State locker room after a dominant three-game stretch. The warriors have been here before. "That's what humans are about," Green said.

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Warriors turn back the clock in the NBA playoffs

Led by Stephen Curry and rising Jordan Poole, Golden State put on a throwback performance with their Game 3 win over the Nuggets. (Author: Gardener)

NBADENVER -- You can forgive Steve Kerr if he's feeling a little deja vu these days. The Warriors secured a 3-0 lead in their Round 1 matchup against the Nuggets on Thursday night and potentially sealed the series with a 118-113 win. The win featured all the hallmarks of Golden State basketball from the last decade, including six three-pointers from Klay Thompson, a brilliant display from Draymond Green and even a tomahawk dunk from Andre Iguodala. We should take a minute to appreciate what we'll see as the Warriors return to championship contender status. Thompson didn't play a single NBA minute from June 2019 to January 2022. Steph Curry missed 104 games in the last three years, and entering the 2021-22 season few considered Golden State anything but a follower in a stacked Western conference. There's a big difference for Golden State as the franchise is chasing a different championship. The Splash Brothers have become the Splash Triplets in the past week, with Golden State now having a trio of guards who can light the scoreboard on any given night. Curry and Thompson combined for 53 points on 19 of 37 from the field, with Curry's shimmy-and-score with 40 seconds remaining an exclamation mark of an impressive performance. But none of the future Hall of Famers was the Warriors' top guard for a third straight game. This could very well be remembered as The Jordan Poole Series for years to come. The Michigan product and late first-round pick in the 2019 draft proved to be a key weapon for Golden State this season. In three playoff games, he has perhaps one of the most notable breakouts in recent memory. Consider this: Poole's 86 points in his first three playoff games is behind only Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson this postseason. Poole shoots 66.6% from the field against Denver, delivering the most efficient barrage of the postseason. A challenging Golden State attack is nothing short of terrifying when Poole lights up the scoreboard. "He looks like a seasoned vet," Thompson said. Poole's postseason rise is a satisfying subplot as Golden State cruises through the first round. Draymond Green continues to drive Golden State on both ends, controlling the competition for significant stretches in each of the first three games. Green had 15 assists and a turnover in the Warriors' first two games. He's now a plus-45 in 94 playoff minutes after Thursday's win. Green finished Game 3 with just six points in 2-on-6 shooting. Green came out with a rage in the first quarter in front of a rowdy Denver crowd. He had five points, four assists and three rim denials in the first 10 minutes of the game, and he finished his 17th career playoff game with at least 10 assists -- the sixth most among active players -- by the last buzzer. Green remains a deadly trapbreaker in 4v3 situations. He orchestrates Golden State's offense with aplomb, directing traffic while firing lasers at Curry for triples and dropping dimes on a slicing Thompson for easy layups. In the last minute he showed his skills in that regard. Denver had one last opportunity Thursday, 116-111 back and 34.7 seconds left. Not green. The Golden State do-it-all maestro stopped Jokic's dribbles and swiped on the third rebound, poking the ball away for Denver's 18th turnover of the night. The piece was an impressive physical maneuver in itself. But listen to Green explain the game and you realize you're in the midst of a basketball genius. "The first time he dribbled, when he hit me, I felt like I was in inside position," Green said. "Then he took the second one and it was far away from his body. So I'm already thinking, 'If he dribbles one more time, I'll stab.'...I saw the dribble up and away from his body, and I tried.” There's a significant chance this postseason won't be filled with celebratory confetti and a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy for the Warriors ends. The Golden State's wings can be exposed by the wrong opponent, and there's always a (small) chance of a Cold spell from Curry and Thompson. The Warriors are no longer light years ahead of the league compared to the heights of the previous decade. However, if there are concerns about a potential title run, you won't find him in the Golden State locker room after a dominant three-game stretch. The warriors have been here before. "That's what this is about, man," Green said.

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