DENVER — Andre Miller scored a playoff career-high 28 points and sank a nifty layup with 1.3 seconds left that lifted the Denver Nuggets to a 97-95 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
Miller drove left past rookie Draymond Green, did an up-and-under between two defenders under the basket and banked the ball off the glass with his right hand.
The Warriors inbounded the ball and Stephen Curry’s desperation 3-pointer wasn’t anywhere close as the horn sounded and the Nuggets celebrated their 24th straight win at the Pepsi Center.
Miller scored 18 in the frenetic fourth quarter.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets posted an NBA-best 38-3 home record during the season.
“It could have went either way tonight so we have to be better prepared on Tuesday,” Miller said.
The Warriors trailed 93-92 when Curry was pickpocketed by Ty Lawson, whose layup made it a three-point game with 35 seconds remaining.
Curry, who shot his way into NBA history by sinking a record 272 3-pointers this season, got a whistling pass from Jarrett Jack and swished a contested 3 with Lawson all over him, then did his funky dance downcourt during the timeout with 14.5 seconds left.
Miller inbounded the ball, then got it back and isolated on Green until the driving to the hoop for the winning bucket.
“We found a way to pull it out,” Miller said. “This was a tough game.”
The sixth-seeded Warriors, playing in their first playoff game in six seasons, lost All-Star David Lee to a possible right hip flexor strain in the fourth quarter when he banged into JaVale McGee. He shot both free throws, then couldn’t run back downcourt and was taken for X-rays.
Lee finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds, all but two off the defensive glass. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 22 points and Curry had 19. Jarret Jack added 10 points and 10 assists.
Center Andrew Bogut had 14 boards and nine points for the Warriors.
Corey Brewer sparked a 13-2 run that the Nuggets used to take a 71-64 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Warriors responded to Lee’s injury by quickly erasing an eight-point deficit.
Then Miller took over. Trying to make it out of the first round for the first time in his 13-year NBA career, he came up with several big baskets in the final period.