Golden State hands Denver a rare home defeat by shooting 64.6 percent from the field.
DENVER — Stephen Curry had 30 points and 13 assists and the Golden State Warriors handed the Denver Nuggets their first defeat at home in more than three months, a 131-117 stunner Tuesday that evened their playoff series at a game each.
Jarrett Jack added 26 points, Harrison Barnes 24 and former Washington State standout Klay Thompson 21 as the sixth-seeded Warriors wrested home-court advantage from the NBA’s best home team in the series that shifts to Oakland for Game 3 Friday night.
“We are a very good shooting basketball team,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We’ve got guys that can knock down shots. You talk about Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, in my opinion, they’re the greatest shooting backcourt in the history of the game.”
The third-seeded Nuggets were an NBA-best 38-3 at home during the regular season but needed Andre Miller’s last-second shot to beat Golden State by a basket in the opener and extend their franchise-best winning streak to 24 games.
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With Golden State losing All-Star power forward David Lee to a torn hip flexor and the Nuggets getting top rebounder and energizer Kenneth Faried back from a sprained ankle, this one looked like a mismatch.
And it was, only not the way the Pepsi Center crowd anticipated.
“We’re a resilient team, said that all year. When guys go down, other guys step up,” Curry said. “We showed that tonight. Big road win for us. We’ve got to go home and protect our home court.”
Even without their All-Star, the Warriors out-rebounded Denver 36-26 and shot a sizzling 64.6 percent, a franchise playoff record.
“We didn’t do much of anything very well,” Nuggets coach George Karl lamented. “I don’t think I ever coached a game when a team got three 35-point quarters, maybe in my career. Ever.”
The best anybody shot against Denver during the season was 54 percent, by the Los Angeles Lakers way back on Nov. 20, and the most points the Nuggets had allowed was 126 at San Antonio on Nov. 17.
Ty Lawson and Corey Brewer each scored 19 points for Denver and Andre Iguodala and Miller both had 18.
Lee led the league in double-doubles with 56 and had another before getting hurt Saturday. He was averaging 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith had 19, and New York opened a 2-0 lead over Boston with an 87-71 victory.
Raymond Felton added 16 points for the Knicks, who used a 27-4 run spanning halftime to blow it open and move halfway to their first series victory since the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals. This is their first 2-0 lead since sweeping Toronto in the first round that year.
Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Celtics, who will play host in Game 3 on Friday in their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings. Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Boston.
Anthony followed his 36-point opener by making 8 of 13 shots in the second half to finish 11 of 24 for the game.
Spurt helps Heat
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 21 and LeBron James finished with 19 as Miami took off in the fourth quarter for a 98-86 win over Milwaukee to take a 2-0 lead.
The Heat scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter, needing just more than two minutes to blow open what had been a three-point game.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points for Milwaukee.