Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried grabs Warriors guard Jarrett Jack as he goes to the floor during Tuesday’s Game 5.
Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried grabs Warriors guard Jarrett Jack as he goes to the floor during Tuesday's Game 5. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)

They're from another age, the old coach and the old gunslinger. At Oracle Arena last weekend, George Karl ran into his old player Dell Curry, who gave Karl some big wins back in the day and some big headaches now as a father, due to his offspring.

"I got to beat up your son!" the Nuggets' coach said in a playful way about the NBA's new gunslinger, Stephen Curry.

"That's the old days (of basketball)," Dell said.

Is it? With the Nuggets facing playoff elimination, they pummeled the Warriors 107-100 on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center, cutting Golden State's first round playoff series lead to 3-2. They did so with "dirty plays" designed to hurt Curry, said Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

"The screen (set) on Curry by the foul line was a shot at his ankle, clearly. That can't be debated," Jackson said, fuming after the loss, which set up Game 6 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. "I've got inside information that some people don't like that brand of basketball. And they clearly didn't co-sign it. So they wanted to let me know that they had no part in what was taking place.

"Let the best team win, and with the exception of going down with a freak injury, let everybody leave out of here healthy. That's not good basketball."

The Nuggets, who held Curry to 15 points, said they won they game with hard basketball, not cheap basketball. When informed of Jackson's comments, they fired back from the winning locker room.

"We're not dirty at all," said Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. "If you watch the first games, you see (Andrew) Bogut chucking people, Festus (Ezeli) hitting me for no reason. It's not dirty. We're just trying to even it out. We weren't trying to go after Curry — if he's coming through the lane, just make sure he doesn't get down there easily. If I get through the lane, I'm getting hit three, four times, illegal (hits) and everything. I'm not complaining. It's the game of basketball. You've got to man up."

Asked if the Warriors' play in the series was physical or cheap, "It was definitely cheap," Lawson said.

For one night, the Nuggets were the Nuggets again, playing the brand of basketball that helped them win 57 games during the regular season. In the first half, Denver scored 34 paint points, just two fewer than it had in Game 4. It was like a different team, blitzing the Warriors with precision penetration into the lane. And some nasty dunks.

Denver finished with 50 points in the paint to just 24 by Golden State.

The Nuggets need to win at Golden State to force a Game 7 on Saturday. They are attempting to be just the ninth team to win a playoff season after trailing 3-1.

As for the Warriors, who torched Denver in Games 2-4 with their three-guard offense and frenetic pace, they shot a back-to-earth 43.2 percent from the field. Curry was 7-for-19 and 1-for-7 from 3.

Asked about the defense on him, Dell's kid said: "I understand if I'm going to the basket, you want to give a hard foul. We do the same thing. You don't want anyone to feel comfortable on the court. But there's a time and place."

If the Nuggets had lost the series in five games, much of the blame would have been on Andre Iguodala. He's the big-money Olympian who had averaged 14.8 points in the series, but clearly wasn't a major factor on either end. But in Game 5, with the season on the brink, how about Dre?

Nuggets swingman Corey Brewer puts up a shot Tuesday against Golden State’s Harrison Barnes, left, and Klay Thompson.
Nuggets swingman Corey Brewer puts up a shot Tuesday against Golden State's Harrison Barnes, left, and Klay Thompson. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

He was ravenous, flirting with a triple-double, finishing with 25 points, 12 boards and seven assists. The Nuggets haven't had a postseason triple-double since Fat Lever in 1989 against the Suns.

Iguodala made an authoritative one-handed right baseline dunk in the first half, and was 3-for-6 from 3-point land.

The Nuggets sprinted to a 66-46 lead, led by 17 points heading into the fourth quarter, then nearly gave it all away. With Iguodala and Kenneth Faried on the bench in the fourth, the visitors made a push. Even with Denver's starters back in, the Warriors kept coming and had cut the lead to five points with four minutes left.

Denver still led by five, 100-95, with 90 seconds left when Wilson Chandler floated in a 3 from the right corner, giving Denver some breathing room at 103-95. From there, the Nuggets coasted home.

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294, bhochman@denverpost.com or twitter.com/nuggetsnews