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DENVER -- For Thursday night's Game 6 between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets, both the scene and the tone will shift.
Following Denver's series-saving Game 5 win, Warriors coach Mark Jackson accused the Nuggets of dirty play and attempting to take cheap shots at Golden State star Stephen Curry.
"They tried to send hit men at Steph," Jackson said in his postgame news conference following the Warriors' 107-100 loss Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center.
"There were some dirty plays early," Jackson said. "It's playoff basketball. It's all right. Make no mistake, we were up 3-1 [in the series] playing hard, clean physical basketball, not trying to hurt anybody."
Curry concurred with his coach.
"There were a couple of plays I was cutting down the lane and I'm not really involved in the play, and somehow I get an elbow to my chest," Curry said.
Jackson took umbrage with one particular play involving Curry.
"[The Nuggets took] a shot at his ankle, clearly," Jackson said. "That can't be debated."
Curry has a history of ankle injuries and is playing through a sprained left ankle suffered in Game 2 of the first-round series.
The focus of Jackson's ire seemed to be directed at Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried.
Jackson noted that Faried set 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."
When told that Jackson thought the Nuggets were trying to hurt Curry, Faried had a stunned look on his face.
"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, just the negative stuff you usually don't see in the regular season that's not getting called in the playoffs," Faried said.
While Jackson lobbed accusations at the Nuggets, he also said that he knew some Denver players were not on board with the team's tactics.
They tried to send hit men at Steph [Curry].” -- Mark Jackson, Warriors coach
"I got inside information that some people don't like that brand of basketball and they clearly didn't co-sign it," Jackson said. "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."
Denver's Andre Iguodala stood up for his team.
"I think I've taken the hardest hit in the series, Game 1 or 2, when [Andrew] Bogut leaned in to me on a screen. And I didn't remember what happened the rest of the game," Iguodala said. "I think they kind of brought the physicality to the series. And we stopped being the receivers and we're starting to hit back a little bit. But as far as anybody trying to cheap shot, I don't condone that myself. It's not my game."
The physical play was not all one-sided however. Warriors big men Bogut and Draymond Green were both assessed flagrant fouls in the game while Curry and Nuggets center Kosta Koufos received technicals.
Denver coach George Karl spoke to the media ahead of Jackson but took a shot at Golden State's version of bully ball by asking, "Did Draymond Green play football or basketball at Michigan State?"
The Warriors lead the suddenly contentious series 3-2 with Game 6 back at home at Oracle Arena on Thursday night.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.