The Golden State Warriors will try to take true command of their Western Conference playoff series when they host the Denver Nuggets Sunday night and raucous Oracle Arena.
When the Warriors pulled out a home win Friday, they took a 2-1 lead in the conference quarterfinals.
The crowd in Oakland was sensational on Friday. It was their first playoff action since the epic run in 2007 when the Warriors, seeded eighth, beat the top-ranked Dallas Mavericks.
"The crowd was off the chart. There's nothing like something being as good as advertised," said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. "They were loud. They were consistent and we fed off of them even when we didn't match their intensity in the first half."
After taking Game 2 in Denver, which was the first home loss for the Nuggets since January, the Warriors overcame a 12-point halftime deficit on Friday to get the 110-108 victory.
The game was close late. Denver's Wilson Chandler drained a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Jarrett Jack couldn't get the inbounds pass in and was whistled for a five-second violation.
Ty Lawson came off a pick-and-roll and appeared to get bumped by Golden State's Festus Ezeli. Lawson lost it out of bounds and the Warriors went on to win.
"The play was for me to come off the screen-and-roll with Will (Chandler)," Lawson said. "They ended up trapping. I didn't see anybody behind me. I just lost the ball. Can't put it on the refs."
It was a huge victory for a young Warriors team, which has won two straight without All-Star forward David Lee, who injured his hip in Game 1.
"This is a new experience for us and we're going to make mistakes during the process," Jackson said. "Turnovers, five-second violations, carelessness, bad shots, what we went through last year and during the course of this year has put us in position to finish ball games."
Steph Curry, playing on a gimpy ankle, had 29 points and 11 assists for the Warriors. Jack scored 23 and Carl Landry and Harrison Barnes both chipped in 19.
After losing Game 2, 131-117, Denver head coach George Karl was actually pleased with Game 3.
"I told the team after the game that the process of the NBA playoffs is to get better. We got better tonight," Karl said. "We didn't win, but there's a process going on and it's just two wins. They're barely halfway there. I think it's going to be fun Sunday. I think tonight's game was a great game to be a part of."
Lawson had 35 points and 10 assists on Friday. Corey Brewer, Kenneth Faried, Andre Iguodala and Chandler all scored in double digits. Faried returned to the starting lineup in place of Kosta Koufos after an ankle injury kept him out of Game 1 and in a reserve role in Game 2.
Game 5 will be Tuesday in Denver.