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DeRozan leads Spurs past Nuggets in Game 1, 101-96

DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic overcame suffocating double teams to become the fourth player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his playoff debut and the first since LeBron James in 2006.

What did it mean to him?

''To be honest, nothing,'' Jokic said.

It also mattered little to the San Antonio Spurs, who beat the Denver Nuggets 101-96 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series Saturday night.

Jokic's accomplishment was rendered a footnote by LaMarcus Aldridge's suffocating defense, DeMar DeRozen's 18 points, Derrick White's clinching steal in the closing seconds and all those wide-open shots that just didn't fall for Denver.

Although Jokic pulled down 14 rebounds and dished out 14 assists, he took just nine shots, made four, and was limited to 10 points, less than half his regular season scoring average of 20.1.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called it a wash because Aldridge wasn't himself, either, going just 6 of 19 for 15 points.

''We didn't let Jokic play as he wanted and they didn't let LaMarcus play as much as he wanted,'' Popovich said. ''It is important because they are both great players and they are going to continue to get a lot of attention throughout the series.''

Aldridge said this is what everyone can expect this whole series, too.

''Both bigs kind of never really got comfortable down there. When you have two bigs that are so big for your team, it's going to be like that,'' Aldridge said. ''We did a good job of just trying to mix it up on him. They did the same thing on me.''

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he didn't wish his All-Star had taken more shots.

''Every time he put it down, there was somebody right there. They trapped him every time,'' Malone said. ''So, I think Nikola has a high IQ. He's going to make the right play. Unfortunately, we didn't make them pay for double-teaming enough.''

The Nuggets made just 42 percent of their shots, 21 percent from 3-point range, and missed eight free throws while failing to score a single fast-break basket.

''I think if we're making shots, it becomes a lot harder to double-team him consistently,'' Malone said. ''They stayed with it because we couldn't make a shot. So, that was the tough thing about it. But I love Nikola's approach. I love his play-making. I love his passing.''

The sellout crowd at the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets went 34-7 for the best home record in the league, certainly wanted Jokic to take more shots. But even those calls quieted after Jokic shot an airball on a 3 at a crucial point in the fourth quarter.

White stole the ball at midcourt from Jamal Murray with 1.3 seconds left after Aldridge sank a pair of free throws following his key defensive rebound of Murray's errant shot that would have given the Nuggets the lead with seven seconds left.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Denver.

Making their first playoff appearance in six years, the Nuggets trailed most of the night, but they trimmed a 12-point deficit to one in the final minute.

They had the ball with 6.9 seconds left and needed a 3 even though they were just 6 for 28 from the arc. But they never got the chance to tie it because White, a second-year pro who moved into a bigger role when Dejounte Murray got hurt in the preseason, stripped Murray and drew the foul, then sank both shots.

''He was spectacular,'' Popovich said. ''For somebody who got put in that position and to learn that position with a bunch of new players, it's really remarkable what he's done. Hopefully, he'll continue to play that way because it's going to be a long series.''

Asked what adjustments he had in mind for Game 2, Malone said simply, ''Make shots.''

TIP-INS:

San Antonio: The Spurs have won five of six playoff series against the Nuggets with their only series defeat coming in 1985. ... San Antonio is making its 22nd straight playoff appearance, this one with a new cast that includes DeRozan, who came over from Toronto in the Kawhi Leonard trade. ... The Spurs' win marked the third by a road team on the opening day of the NBA playoffs. They joined the Nets, who won at Philadelphia, and Magic, who won at Toronto.

Denver: The Nuggets are 6-21 against the Spurs in the playoffs. ... The Nuggets have lost seven of their last 12 home games against San Antonio. ... Denver won the Northwest Division title for the first time since 2010. ... Gary Harris led Denver with 20 points and Murray had 17, but that was on 8-of-24 shooting, including 0 for 6 from the arc.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Denver.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:36   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
11:23   Offensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
11:24   Jakob Poeltl missed dunk  
11:18   Will Barton missed floating jump shot  
11:16   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
10:47 +2 Nikola Jokic made layup, assist by Paul Millsap 0-2
11:03   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
10:47 +2 Nikola Jokic made layup, assist by Paul Millsap 0-2
10:34   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot, blocked by Gary Harris  
10:32   Offensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
10:12   Shooting foul on Derrick White  
10:12 +1 Gary Harris made free throw 3-5
9:51 +2 Derrick White made driving layup 5-5
9:38   Shooting foul on Derrick White  
9:38 +1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 5-6
9:38 +1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 5-6
9:38   Will Barton missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:29   Shooting foul on Will Barton  
9:27   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
9:13 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 6-8
8:56   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
8:54   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
8:43   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:39   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
8:33   Bryn Forbes missed jump shot, blocked by Will Barton  
8:23   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:14 +3 Bryn Forbes made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Patty Mills 9-8
7:46   Offensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
7:44   Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:42   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
7:35   Patty Mills missed floating jump shot  
7:31   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
7:22   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:22   Shooting foul on Jakob Poeltl  
7:22 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 9-9
7:22 +1 Nikola Jokic made 2nd of 2 free throws 9-10
7:05 +2 DeMar DeRozan made jump shot 11-10
6:46   Personal foul on Jakob Poeltl  
6:36   Offensive foul on Nikola Jokic  
6:18   DeMar DeRozan missed fade-away jump shot  
6:18   DeMar DeRozan missed fade-away jump shot  
6:15   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
5:46   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
5:43   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
5:27 +2 Will Barton made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 11-14
5:27 +2 Will Barton made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 11-14
4:51 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 13-17
4:51 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 13-17
4:22   Rudy Gay missed fade-away jump shot  
4:20   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
4:13   Offensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
4:11   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:08   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
4:02   Shooting foul on Gary Harris  
4:02 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 14-17
4:02 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 2nd of 2 free throws 15-17
3:22   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:20   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
3:04   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
2:54 +2 Marco Belinelli made finger-roll layup 17-17
2:54 +2 Marco Belinelli made finger-roll layup 17-17
2:48   Turnover on Malik Beasley  
2:19   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
2:19   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
1:50   Malik Beasley missed jump shot  
1:49   Offensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
1:47 +2 Malik Beasley made jump shot 19-19
1:34 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Patty Mills 22-19
1:34 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Patty Mills 22-19
1:19   Shooting foul on Davis Bertans  
1:19   Will Barton missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:19   DEN team rebound  
0:58   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:56   Personal foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
0:56   DEN team rebound  
0:56   Mason Plumlee missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:55   Defensive rebound by Davis Bertans  
0:41   Rudy Gay missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:38   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
0:37   LaMarcus Aldridge missed dunk  
0:37   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
0:37 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made dunk 24-20
0:32   Monte Morris missed floating jump shot  
0:32   DEN team rebound  
0:27   Mason Plumlee missed hook shot  
0:27   Mason Plumlee missed hook shot  
0:27   Offensive rebound by Torrey Craig  
0:25   Torrey Craig missed dunk  
0:24   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
0:09   Personal foul on Mason Plumlee  
0:07   Personal foul on Monte Morris  
0:07   Marco Belinelli missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:07   SA team rebound  
0:07 +1 Marco Belinelli made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-20
0:02   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
0:02   DEN team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:47   Shooting foul on Davis Bertans  
11:47 +1 Paul Millsap made 1st of 2 free throws 25-21
11:47 +1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-22
11:28 +2 Derrick White made driving layup 27-22
11:08   Malik Beasley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:05   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
10:53 +2 DeMar DeRozan made jump shot, assist by Davis Bertans 29-22
10:38 +2 Paul Millsap made running Jump Shot, assist by Monte Morris 29-24
10:21 +2 DeMar DeRozan made fade-away jump shot 31-24
10:02   Paul Millsap missed jump shot  
10:00   Offensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
9:58 +3 Malik Beasley made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Mason Plumlee 31-27
9:46 +2 Jakob Poeltl made layup, assist by Derrick White 33-27
9:33 +2 Mason Plumlee made floating jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 33-29
9:17   Personal foul on Monte Morris  
9:03 +2 Derrick White made jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 35-29
8:27   Shooting foul on Mason Plumlee  
8:27 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 36-29
8:17 +1 Malik Beasley made 1st of 2 free throws 37-30
8:17 +1 Malik Beasley made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-31
7:55 +2 Bryn Forbes made jump shot 39-31
7:38   Out of bounds turnover on Paul Millsap  
7:12 +2 Derrick White made jump shot 41-31
6:56   Defensive rebound by Derrick White  
6:37   DEN team rebound  
6:37   Personal foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
6:17   Nikola Jokic missed dunk  
6:17   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
6:08   Bad pass turnover on Derrick White, stolen by Monte Morris  
5:59 +2 Gary Harris made finger-roll layup, assist by Monte Morris 41-33
5:40 +2 Jakob Poeltl made alley-oop shot, assist by Rudy Gay 43-33
5:25   Bad pass turnover on Paul Millsap, stolen by Rudy Gay  
5:21 +2 Bryn Forbes made floating jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 45-33
5:07 +2 Jamal Murray made floating jump shot 45-35
4:47   DeMar DeRozan missed fade-away jump shot, blocked by Will Barton  
4:46   Offensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
4:32   Gary Harris missed fade-away jump shot  
4:27   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
4:00 +2 Gary Harris made reverse layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 47-37
3:34   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
3:20   Full timeout called  
3:00   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:51   Will Barton missed reverse layup, blocked by Jakob Poeltl  
2:48   Offensive rebound by Will Barton  
2:37 +3 Rudy Gay made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick White 50-41
1:55 +2 Marco Belinelli made jump shot 52-43
1:39 +2 Will Barton made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 52-45
1:20 +3 Rudy Gay made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick White 55-45
1:06   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
1:03 +2 Paul Millsap made dunk 55-47
0:47 +2 Derrick White made driving layup, assist by DeMar DeRozan 57-47
0:32 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 57-49
0:15 +2 Rudy Gay made floating jump shot 59-49
0:00   SA team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:44   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
11:11   Out of bounds turnover on Nikola Jokic  
11:01   Lost ball turnover on DeMar DeRozan, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
10:54 +2 Paul Millsap made jump shot 61-53
10:54   Shooting foul on DeMar DeRozan  
10:54 +1 Paul Millsap made free throw 61-54
10:36   LaMarcus Aldridge missed fade-away jump shot  
10:33   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
10:09   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
10:05   Bad pass turnover on Derrick White  
10:03   Bad pass turnover on Jamal Murray, stolen by Jakob Poeltl  
9:55   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
9:55   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:55   SA team rebound  
9:55 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 62-54
9:43 +3 Will Barton made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 62-57
9:21   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
9:12 +2 Will Barton made finger-roll layup 62-59
9:00   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
8:58   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
8:57   LaMarcus Aldridge missed dunk  
8:14   Bryn Forbes missed floating jump shot  
8:09   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
8:09   LaMarcus Aldridge missed dunk  
8:08   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
8:05   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:44   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
7:21   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
7:21   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
6:45   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
6:27   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
6:21   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:14 +2 Derrick White made dunk 64-59
6:14   Derrick White missed free throw  
6:12   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
6:00   Will Barton missed layup, blocked by DeMar DeRozan  
5:55   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
5:41   Personal foul on Gary Harris  
5:32   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
5:21   Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:19   SA team rebound  
4:40   Gary Harris missed jump shot  
4:37   Offensive rebound by Will Barton  
4:31 +2 Nikola Jokic made layup, assist by Will Barton 66-61
4:04   Davis Bertans missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:00   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
3:53   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:50   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
3:40   LaMarcus Aldridge missed fade-away jump shot  
3:36   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
3:30   Will Barton missed floating jump shot, blocked by Davis Bertans  
3:28   Defensive rebound by Patty Mills  
3:23   Marco Belinelli missed reverse layup  
3:20 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made dunk 68-61
3:05   Monte Morris missed jump shot  
3:02   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
2:44 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot, assist by Marco Belinelli 70-61
2:23   DEN team rebound  
2:23   Personal foul on Rudy Gay  
2:18   Monte Morris missed floating jump shot  
2:15   Offensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
2:07 +2 Nikola Jokic made reverse layup 70-63
1:54   Bad pass turnover on Rudy Gay, stolen by Jamal Murray  
1:47   Mason Plumlee missed layup  
1:47   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
1:47   Defensive rebound by Patty Mills  
1:38 +2 Rudy Gay made fade-away jump shot 72-63
0:53   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:50   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
0:47   Shooting foul on Davis Bertans  
0:47 +1 Malik Beasley made 1st of 2 free throws 72-66
0:47   Malik Beasley missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:30   Marco Belinelli missed floating jump shot  
0:29   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
0:08 +2 Mason Plumlee made floating jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 72-68
0:01   DeMar DeRozan missed fade-away jump shot  
0:01   Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig  

4th Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:40   Personal foul on Malik Beasley  
11:28 +2 Patty Mills made jump shot 74-68
11:20   Out of bounds turnover on Malik Beasley  
11:08   Shooting foul on Torrey Craig  
11:08   SA team rebound  
10:57 +2 Monte Morris made floating jump shot 75-70
10:29 +3 Torrey Craig made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Mason Plumlee 75-73
10:08   Shooting foul on Jamal Murray  
10:08 +1 Davis Bertans made 1st of 3 free throws 76-73
10:08 +1 Davis Bertans made 2nd of 3 free throws 77-73
10:06   Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig  
9:57   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
9:38 +2 Bryn Forbes made floating jump shot, assist by Derrick White 79-73
9:25 +2 Malik Beasley made jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 79-75
9:25   Personal foul on Derrick White  
9:25   Malik Beasley missed free throw  
8:41   Shooting foul on Jakob Poeltl  
8:41 +1 Gary Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 81-76
8:20 +2 DeMar DeRozan made jump shot 83-77
8:05   Shooting foul on Bryn Forbes  
8:05   Torrey Craig missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:05   Torrey Craig missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
7:46   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
7:31 +3 Torrey Craig made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Mason Plumlee 83-80
7:29   Full timeout called  
6:57 +2