Denver • Kenneth Faried put his foot down 48 hours after putting his size-16 sneaker through the wall in the visiting locker room in Oakland, sparking a debate about dirty play.
The fiery forward energized the Denver Nuggets, who rediscovered their toughness in time to stave off elimination Tuesday night with a 107-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The Nuggets never trailed, piled up points in the paint, slowed down the Warriors' guards, jumpstarted their transition game and got under Andew Bogut's skin.
They jumped out to a 22-point lead before weathering the Warriors' frenetic fourth quarter rally to cut their series deficit to 3-2 and force a Game 6 Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson accused the Nuggets of trying to hurt Stephen Curry, his banged-up sharpshooter who was just 1 for 7 from long-range and finished with a series-low 15 points.
"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."
Jackson mentioned Faried setting some "great screens and some great illegal ones, too."
"He did his job. Hey, I played with guys like that. They get paid to do that. Dale Davis, Anthony Davis, Charles Oakley. You get paid to do it. So give them credit," Jackson said. "As an opposing coach, I see it, and I'm trying to protect my guys."
Jackson complained about one screen in particular on Curry being "a shot at his ankle, clearly. That can't be debated." He added, "I got inside information that some people don't like that brand of basketball and they clearly didn't co-sign it. They wanted to let me know they have no parts in what was taking place. Let the best team win. And let everybody with the exception of going down with a freak injury, let everybody leave out of here healthy. That's not good basketball."
"It's basketball," countered Faried. "I try to do the little things my team needs me to do. It's physical. If you can't stand the physicality, you shouldn't be playing."
Asked about accusations he tried to hurt Curry, Faried said: "That's intriguing because I think they were purposefully trying to hurt me every play I went for a rebound the hits, the grab to the throat."
• Boston at New York,5 p.m., TNT
• Atlanta at Indiana,6 p.m., NBA TV
• Houston at Oklahoma City, 7:30 p.m., TNT