Denver, CO – The hole that frustrated forward Kenneth Faried kicked in the visiting locker room's wall at Oracle Arena wasn't as big as the one Denver found itself in following Game 4's loss.
But the Nuggets put their foot down and staved off the hard-charging Golden State Warriors in the friendly confines of Pepsi Center Tuesday.
Andre Iguodala tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Denver's 107-100 wire-to-wire win over Golden State in Game 5 of this Western Conference first-round series.
The Warriors still lead the best-of-seven set 3-2.
Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Golden State trailed by as many as 22 in the second quarter and were down by 19 early in the fourth before surging back. The Warriors whittled the margin down to five with 2:16 to go, but Wilson Chandler nailed a 3-poiner and Iguodala put back a dunk off a Ty Lawson airball, sandwiched around Festus Ezeli splitting a pair of free throws, to increase the advantage back to nine with 53 ticks remaining.
The Warriors never got within two possessions the rest of the way.
Game 6 is slated for Thursday in Oakland.
Lawson recorded 19 points and 10 assists, Chandler put in a playoff career- high 19 points and Faried added 13 points and 10 boards for Denver, which has been eliminated from the first round nine times in the last 10 years.
"We're not giving up," Faried said. "We're playing with our hearts and we're playing together, and we trust each other and believe in each other."
The Nuggets had dropped an NBA-low three home games during the regular season, but suffered a Game 2 defeat in the Mile High city. Denver made sure it didn't lose back-to-back games there for the first time since Feb. 8-9, 2012.
After committing 23 turnovers in Game 4, Denver gave the ball away just 13 times Tuesday.
Stephen Curry, whose 18 triples were the most by any player in the first four contests of a playoff career, missed his first five from beyond the arc. He netted 15 points on 1-of-7 shooting from distance.
Golden State head coach Mark Jackson accused the Nuggets of dirty play.
"Some dirty plays early," Jackson said. "It's playoff basketball. That's all right. We own it. But make no mistake about it, we went up 3-1 playing hard, physical, clean basketball -- not trying to hurt anybody."
Harrison Barnes had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors, who were outscored 50-24 in the paint.
Lawson's jumper gave Denver a 92-73 lead with 9:03 to play before Golden State responded with an 18-4 tear to get back into the tilt. Curry poured in seven points during the swing, including his only three-ball of the game to cap it and pull Golden State within 96-91 with 5:09 remaining.
After turning the ball over five times in the opening frame during Game 4, Denver had just one giveaway in the first Tuesday and raced out to a 36-22 advantage. Eighteen of those points came in the paint.
Andrew Bogut was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul in the second when he shoved Faried out of bounds underneath the hoop. Faried sunk 1-of-2 foul shots, before Andre Miller converted a layup on Denver's next touch. After Bogut missed a short jumper, Faried ferociously threw down a dunk for a 49-31 advantage with 7:36 left in the second.
A bit later, Faried brought his energy on the defensive end when he emphatically swatted away a Jarrett Jack layup attempt. Denver took its 22- point lead when Chandler nailed a trey with 23.2 seconds left in the half and the hosts entered the break with a 66-46 spread.
It was 86-69 in favor of Denver after three.
It was Golden State's first defeat this postseason without David Lee in the lineup. The Warriors went 6-19 without the NBA's double-double leader during the regular season ... Jack had 20 points, six rebounds and five helpers, but turned the ball over six times ... Denver scored 19 points off 17 Golden State turnovers.