Lee-less Warriors meet Denver in Game 2

Updated: April 23, 2013


The Golden State Warriors will try to even things with the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, but they’ll have to do it without All-Star forward David Lee.

Lee left in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Game 1 loss due to a hip injury. The worst was confirmed after an MRI revealed a complete tear of his right hip flexor.

“It’s a disappointing day for me, but I’ve been a leader on this team all season and I’m going to continue to be one,” Lee said. “This series is definitely not over. I look forward to watching this team rally.”

Losing Lee’s production is a huge blow to the Warriors. He led the NBA with 56 double-doubles during the regular season and finished fifth in rebounding (11.2 rpg) and 15th in scoring (18.5 ppg).

Lee had 10 points and 14 rebounds when he was taken out of Game 1.

The Nuggets, the NBA’s top scoring team, were led by the venerable Andre Miller, who took the game over in the second half. Miller scored 20 points in the final 24 minutes for a game-high 28.

Miller’s biggest bucket was his last. After Golden State sharpshooter Steph Curry tied the game with a 3-pointer with 14.5 seconds remaining, Miller drove left, switched to his right and finished with a winning layup with 1.2 seconds left.

“I never hit a game-winning shot before,” Miller said. “I don’t think both teams wanted to go to overtime after that type of game. Both teams were tired and we were just happy to get that win.”

Ty Lawson (12), Wilson Chandler (11), Evan Fournier (11) and Corey Brewer (10) scored in double figures for the Nuggets. Chandler grabbed 13 rebounds and Andre Iguodala added 10 boards.

The Warriors won the rebounding battle, 55-45, on Saturday, but that should change, not just because Lee will be on the sidelines.

Kenneth Faried will return to the Nuggets’ lineup on Tuesday. He had been shelved for three games, including Game 1, with a sprained ankle, but stated he will be back for Game 2.

“You can’t sit me out that long,” Faried said. “I get frustrated. I get mad and start getting a hissy fit.”

The Warriors will have to figure some things out in Lee’s absence. Carl Landry could slide into the starting lineup and he’s been solid all season. He scored 14 points in 23 minutes on Sunday.

Klay Thompson led the way for Golden State with 22 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Curry was next with 19 points, but he only shot 7-for-20 from the field.

“What I told my team was that nobody came in here thinking that we were going to sweep the Denver Nuggets,” said head coach Mark Jackson. “You have to win four games to advance and you can’t act like it’s over, so take the blow and be ready to make adjustments and respond.”

Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.