SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The last time the Denver Nuggets won a game in San Antonio in 2012, the All-Star Center Nikola Jokic was 17 years old.
"I was riding enough on horses," he said. 19659002] Nuggets rescued from the AT&T Center on Saturday night after doing something that this current roster had never done – winning in San Antonio. Answering head coach Michael Malone's challenge to take the fight to Spurs, Nuggets beat a 12-point deficit to snap a 14-game loss in San Antonio with a 117-103 victory over Spurs.
] Nuggets had not won in this building since March 4, 2012, and now the home court benefits after evening the best of seven first-round NBA playoff series of 2-2. Game 5 is in Denver Tuesday.
"I saw a trust," Malone said of his team similar to his challenge over the last few days to play harder and harder than Spurs. "I saw a young team who didn't think about 2012. Because if you think about the last seven years, it will overwhelm you. We live in the present. We live today."
Denver's Jamal Murray came back to life again in this series. Having virtually only an excellent neighborhood when he scored 21 points in the fourth to help Denver with Game 2, Murray scored 24 points and dished out 6 helping to lead Nuggets to victory.
The spurs were at 11 with 7 minutes, 46 seconds left in the second quarter, when Nuggets responded with a 20-9 round to even score of 54-54. In the third quarter, Spursne beat two when Nuggets hit them with a 20-8 run to take a 14-point lead just before the end of the third. Murray triggered that wave and hit a 3-point when the shotwatch was about to expire, set a clear down off a give-and-go from Jokic and then assisted on a Torrey Craig 3-point.
"That 3 at the end of the shot was great," said Jokic, who was most aggressive in the series with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. "He needs such a small trigger to step to another level. And when he moves on to another level, he just brings us with him."
Malone started Craig instead of struggling Barton, and moved to work. Craig replied with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Barton, who had shot 1-to-13 behind the bow in the first three games, scored 12 points and buried all three of his 3-point attempts at the bench.
Craig let Nuggets switch Gary Harris from DeMar DeRozan and on White. After White lived in the Nuggets paint and scored a career high 36 points in Spurs & # 39; Game 3 victory, Harris helped hold White for only 8 points and 5 assists Saturday.
White – who got layup after layup and made 12 of 14 shots in paint alone on Thursday night – was held to three baskets at the rim and did not score again after a 6:24 driving back in the third quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 24 points and 9 rebounds, did not play in the fourth quarter when Nuggets & # 39; lead never dipped under two digits. And DeRozan, who had 19 points, was drafted with 5:01 in the match after being called for an offensive charge and fired the ball against official Scott Foster.
"Overall, Nuggets competed and we didn't," asked coach gregg popovich. "Their physical properties were evident from the get-go. We knew it was going to happen, and we didn't react. So it was a very disappointing loss, because I think Nuggets played harder and smarter than we did."
Subsequently, Murray spoke of Nuggets' elasticity, something that was full-screen in his own game, after he was at the receiver of White's career evening in Game 3.
"I always jump back," said Murray.  Murray was only 15 when nuggets last won in San Antonio. He can't remember what he did or where he was then.
But he said he will always remember the night Denver's road losing streak ended in San Antonio.
Murray said, "I was here tonight."