The Denver Nuggets took over the San Antonio Spurs in a game in which both teams started hot with 13 combined points through the first two minutes of the game. The Spurs collected a quick early lead as they shot 5-of-7 to go up 11-6, forcing the Nuggets to call a quick timeout with Michael Malone visibly frustrated by the level of play his team put out early in play.
Coming out of the timeout, Nikola Jokic hit Will Barton for a corner triple that stopped the race the Spurs had been on. Denver tied it up at 11 before a Spurs jumper put them back in the lead. A large scratch on the neck of Michael Porter Jr. led to a halt in the game, and Jokic got a free dunk on the incoming game to tie the game up again at 1
Jokic had to take matters into his own hands after several unevennesses were not called before pulling an and-one foul on a Eurostep layup down the middle of the pitch, but the rest of the list did not come with on the trip as he was pulling them into the game with nine of the team’s first 16 points. A Porter jumper to tie the game at 18 was quickly regretted when he was beaten by Derrick White for a layup and his own three-point game.
A Patty Mills triple stretched the Spurs’ lead to six as the Nuggets were in a cold period before Porter threw a big thump down after a blow by Jakob Poetl. Jokic caused another bucket to fall out of a Spurs’ timeout, and Porter caused an offensive rebound setback to fall to tie the game up at 24 with 2:30 left. Porter and Rudy Gay traded shovels to tie the game at 26 before Gay hit another from 18 feet.
Another San Antonio mark made it a four-point game with 60 seconds left in the first quarter. Javale McGee was given a chance to change things around. After an unanswered call, Spurs got a mid-range floater from Gorgui Dieng. JaMychal Green ended the first quarter with a putback dunk that brought Denver within two after a rough first quarter at the defensive end.
The Spurs scored quick five points to start the second quarter before McGee made a float fall. A Morris jumper brought them within three as the other unit worked to keep up with the Spurs with a big thump from PJ Dozier. Dieng went 1-of-2 at the line, and McGee tied the game up with another spawn from Barton. The clock and revenue abounded from both sides before Porter made a jumper drop with 7:00 left.
Another 1-of-2 turn on the line from San Antonio was answered by a tip-in from Jokic. DeMar DeRozan nailed a couple of free throws to bring them within one. After a couple of missed miss calls led to a turnover from Jokic, Malone let the referees get it before he caught a double technical and was pushed out of the game. DeRozan equalized for 42 before Dejounte Murray made a slight layup to drop.
After a couple of misses, Jokic tied the match at 44 with his 15th point of the night before a high-pitched jumper from Murray gave the lead back. Dunks from Gordon and Porter equalized the game at 48 with just under 2:00 left in the first half before a long jumper from DeRozan took the lead back. Porter nailed three free throws before Dozier caught up with a triple from the right wing to give Denver a four-point lead. Time ran out with Denver leading 54-50 thanks to a late stream of points.
DeRozan got the score started with a 10-foot jumper before Poetl tied it up to 54 with a float. A bizarre array of offensive assets from Denver allowed San Antonio to regain the lead before DeRozan stretched the lead to four before a Jokic turnover led to a quick dunk and a 10-0 run from San Antonio and a Denver timeout. Poetl got a tip-in layup and the Nuggets had not scored in the entire first four minutes of the second half before Gordon wanted a short jumper to fall.
A block by Porter led to two offensive rebounds for Spurs and an open triple for Murray. Jokic started with a spin down into the paint, but Murray canceled it out with another 3-point bomb that stretched the lead to 10 before Jokic got another shot to fall. Jokic grabbed a loose ball and turned it over his head for a two-point shot that brought Denver back within six with 6:09 left.
When he came out of the timeout, Denver forced a miss before Facundo Campazzo drilled a big triple. A 3-second foul gave Denver the ball, which Gordon turned into a 3-point game to level the game at 68. Denver took advantage of a sloppy game from San Antonio when Dozier came out and pulled a free-kick against DeRozan, which resulted in a technical foul. . , but the team went only 1-of-3 at the free throw line. A layup by White gave the Spurs their lead back before Jokic made a free kick on Gay.
Jokic struck down a couple of free throws and Denver rolled after a slow start to the quarter. Gordon grabbed a ball away on an almost turnover and it turned into a layup for Jokic, which is a game that served as a major momentum shift with 3:00 left. Dozier went 1-of-2 at the line before Denver shut Dieng down in defense. Jokic found Barton down on the floor, but he was destroyed by Mills, who made him miss the open layup opportunity. Barton nailed both shots on the line that got the lead up to six.
Gay finally got the score going again with a 10-foot float over McGee before Morris hit a triple from the corner. Mills struck down a couple of free throws, but Morris got the two straight back with a middle-class jumper. Denver finished the third quarter 81-74, which was a pretty big win considering the slow start they came out of the locker room.
When Mills came out of the quarter-break, he got two more points to go before Dozier got to the line where he went 1-of-2. JaMychal Green got a 3-point triple drop. A miss by Mills was followed by a Barton triple before pulling a shot to get to the line. Barton knocked down a couple and Nugget’s lead was stretched to 14. Up to 13, Facu Green found for a giant thump before Denver gave up a wide open layup. McGee came into action with a giant thump that got the 4,000 fans in the arena on their feet.
When they came out of the Spurs’ timeout, the two sides traded some sloppy possessions, and Denver had several opportunities right at the cup that they missed before McGee was eventually sent to line-up 15, where he went 1-of-a-kind. 2. After several empty possessions from both sides, Campazzo hit a triple pass to stretch the lead to 19 with just over 5:30 left.
White hit a couple of free throws before the two sides traded turnovers and empty assets. The Spurs had started clearing the bench down with 17 with just over 4:00 left before Porter hit a triple for his first points in the second half, prompting Denver to also drain their reserves to get their young guys a few minutes. The most important moment in this game was clearly the expulsion of Malone. The game was 41-42 before he was pushed out, and Denver led by as many as 20 before the late run of San Antonio’s reserves cut into that margin for a final score of 106-96, stretching Denver’s winning streak to seven on its way to Friday night matchup with the same Spurs.
Heads of State
Point: Nikola Jokic – 25
Helper: Jokic – 10
Rebounds: Michael Porter Jr. – 10
Playing the game: Nikola Jokic – 25 points, 10 assists 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 11-of-18 field goal, 0-of-2 3-point, 3-of-4 free throw