Warriors cruise past Nuggets to win Game 1 in Curry's return (2:05)

The Warriors beat the Nuggets 123-107 in the first game of the series. There is a time and a place for it.

3:40 AM ET

The Golden State Warriors have a long history of small-ball lineups. During the first championship run of their dynasty, their small lineup was so lethal it was dubbed the death lineup.

The Warriors have had a number of different versions since then, but it appears they have the newest one.

In the first game of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins played just five minutes together, but they scored 14 points. The Warriors went into halftime with a 123-107 win on Saturday night because of those five minutes.

Thompson said it was a scary sight when they really got going.

"It's pretty lethal," said Poole of the lineup.

For the past three years, Poole has been asking his teammates questions about the playoffs. He wanted to be ready whenever he got the chance to perform. Steve Kerr said that it was not just his questions that prepared the third-year guard. Their two play-in games last year gave him a taste of the pressure he would face this season.

Kerr said that he was not afraid of the moment.

Curry pointed out a play that occurred with about three minutes left in the first half, when Poole came in transition and cut back and forth through the key for a layup.

Curry said that he does not lack confidence. You have the confidence and creativity to make that play. You do not second-guess yourself. He is stepping into that now because we have done it for years. It is enjoyable to see.

He finished the night with a game-high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3. Only one player in Warriors history has scored more points in a playoff debut.

During the regular season, the Nuggets coach said not to check the statistics against Denver because they were off the charts.

Curry said that he is comfortable easing his way back into his own play because of the recent play of Poole, who has hit a league-best 78 3-pointers since March.

Curry came in off the bench on Saturday, his first outing since March 16.

Curry decided not to start. Curry said that watching Thompson come back from his injuries gave him insight into how to manage his minutes restriction. It gave the Warriors the flexibility they wanted.

Curry played 22 minutes and finished with 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-9 from the 3-point range.

Thompson said that he thought he looked great, but that his shot was short in the first half. He is still named Stephen Curry. The threat of him being out there is the best. It makes us a championship team.

Thompson said that Curry's biggest impact on the game was his presence on the court. It forced the Nuggets to decide if they wanted to leave him in single coverage or throw multiple defenders his way, which would have allowed him to catch fire.

Thompson said it was hard to guard them because they were undersized.

It checks a lot of boxes on the list, like what would you want for a potent offense with Curry, Klay, Draymond, and Wiggs splashing.

The spacing Curry created was obvious in the Warriors three-guard lineup. Thompson had five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points.

The death lineup 3.0 was brought together by Green.

Green did not play in any of the four regular-season games against Denver, and that's why the Nuggets went 3-1 in the series.

When Green was the primary defender, the Nuggets shot just 5-of-19 from the floor. Jokic went 3-of-12. The Warriors finished 9-of-14 on field goals off Green's passes.

Kerr said you need tough and smart.

Poole agreed.

Green stepped it up a notch, and the team feeds off his energy and aggressiveness. Being able to have the force that he is back there and the way he controls our offense helps a lot.

The Warriors only had a five-minute glimpse of their lineup. In those five minutes, Golden State could finally see the lineup it has been talking about since Curry went down. It has been in their game for a long time.

The rotation of players will always be a key to the Warriors' success in the playoffs.

Is there a new nickname for it?

Curry said it was hard to keep doing it. We all have to do hard stuff.