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Nuggets erase 19-point deficit in 114-105 win over Spurs

DENVER (AP) Jamal Murray just couldn't get the bad taste out of his mouth, and even a bite of pretzel he poached from a kid after tumbling into the stands in the third quarter wasn't exactly satisfying.

''It was really dry,'' Murray said.

Maybe it was just what Murray needed, however, helping spark his fabulous fourth quarter that fueled the Denver Nuggets' 114-105 comeback over the San Antonio Spurs and knotting their playoff series 1-1.

Murray's late heroics may very well have salvaged Denver's season.

Teammates told him to keep shooting the ball when his shots kept rimming out. Finally, he found his touch, scoring 21 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter.

''Everybody told me to stick with it,'' Murray said. ''I don't think I scored a field goal until the fourth. I just stuck with it. They all believed in me.''

The Nuggets were in danger of losing a second straight game at the Pepsi Center after posting the NBA's best home record (34-7) during the regular season. They trailed 78-59 late in the third quarter before closing the game on a 55-27 run.

''Coach said we are a team that never gives up,'' Nuggets center Nikola Jokic said. ''That's true. We never give up. We lost the first game. We were down 19. That's all excuses. But we never gave up. There is something about this team. We have a heart. We're never going to let you win so easy.''

It was looking very much like an easy win for San Antonio, which frittered away two 19-point leads.

''We gave up 38 points (actually, 39) in the fourth quarter. End of story,'' fumed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who drew a technical foul during the Nuggets' comeback.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he never considered benching Murray because he didn't want to crush his confidence. He said he took him aside at halftime and told him to take a deep breath and trust his shots would start falling.

''Never once did I think about pulling him from the lineup,'' Malone said.

Good thing, too, because Murray, the goat in Game 1 after missing an open jumper and turning the ball over in the closing seconds, might have salvaged the Nuggets' season while going 8 for 9 in the fourth quarter.

The series shifts to San Antonio, where the Nuggets haven't won since 2012, for Game 3 on Thursday night.

''We had to have this one,'' Denver's Paul Millsap said. ''Going down 0-2 into San Antonio would've been a tough situation for us. To pull this one off the way we did, was unbelievable.''

Thanks to Murray, who not only waited until the end to get going in the game but was a late arrival in the postgame news conference.

''It was great to see him make shots,'' Millsap said. ''I think he's got his confidence back. The key was to continue to take shots. If you miss them, so what? Shoot with confidence, and he did.''

Malone said he was bursting with pride over Murray's phenomenal bounce-back.

''He was so frustrated at halftime, not making shots, shots that he's made his whole career,'' Malone recounted. ''I just grabbed him. I said, `Listen, take a deep breath. You're putting too much pressure on yourself. Every shot right now was like the end of the world. I believe in you. I love you. Just go out there and play.'''

''It was great to see him have some success. After Game 1. And after the first half. Really happy for Jamal and for him to step up and basically close the game out with his shot-making that he had down the stretch. The first of many for Jamal Murray, I have no doubt.''

STILL HAPPY

DeMar DeRozan said the Spurs still felt good leaving Denver despite blowing those big leads and a big opportunity to take a 2-0 lead.

''We got Game 1. We fought, tried to get Game 2 but we've got home court shifting our way,'' he said. ''Now it's on us to go home and do what we need to do and understand if we take care of home like we've been doing all year, we can come back here with an opportunity. So, we feel great about where we're at. We understood it wasn't going to be a cakewalk.''

TIP-INS:

San Antonio: The Spurs fell to 21-7 against Denver in the playoffs. They had won seven of their last 12 games in Denver, including the regular season. ... The Spurs got 31 points from DeRozan, 24 from LaMarcus Aldridge and 17 from Derrick White.

Denver: Millsap added 20 points for Denver and Jokic just missed his second triple-double of the series, scoring 21 points, pulling down 13 rebounds and dishing out eight assists. ... The Nuggets ended a seven-game home losing streak to San Antonio in the playoffs.

UP NEXT

The series shifts to San Antonio for Game 3 Thursday night.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:39   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
11:27   Offensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
11:27   Jakob Poeltl missed dunk  
11:26   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
11:16   Lost ball turnover on Paul Millsap, stolen by DeMar DeRozan  
11:05   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:02   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
10:58   Personal foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
10:51   Will Barton missed floating jump shot  
10:48   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
10:47   Lost ball turnover on Jakob Poeltl, stolen by Paul Millsap  
10:36   Nikola Jokic missed turnaround jump shot  
10:36   Shooting foul on DeMar DeRozan  
10:36 +1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 0-2
10:17   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
10:14   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
10:04   Out of bounds turnover on Nikola Jokic  
9:44 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot, assist by Bryn Forbes 2-2
9:27   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
9:24 +2 DeMar DeRozan made layup 4-2
9:12   Shooting foul on DeMar DeRozan  
9:12   Violation  
9:12   Will Barton missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:12   DEN team rebound  
9:10   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:39   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
8:33 +2 Bryn Forbes made jump shot 6-2
8:16 +2 Gary Harris made layup, assist by Paul Millsap 6-4
8:02   Bad pass turnover on Derrick White, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
7:43   LaMarcus Aldridge missed turnaround jump shot  
7:41   Offensive rebound by Derrick White  
7:41   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:41   Personal foul on Jakob Poeltl  
7:28 +2 Paul Millsap made hook shot, assist by Jamal Murray 6-6
7:14 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot, assist by Marco Belinelli 8-6
6:51 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 8-8
6:35 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Rudy Gay 11-8
6:35   Shooting foul on Gary Harris  
6:35 +1 Marco Belinelli made free throw 12-8
6:21 +2 Paul Millsap made driving layup, assist by Will Barton 12-10
6:04 +2 Derrick White made driving layup, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 14-10
5:42 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Will Barton 14-13
5:28   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
5:28 +1 Derrick White made 1st of 2 free throws 15-13
5:28 +1 Derrick White made 2nd of 2 free throws 16-13
5:03 +2 Will Barton made floating jump shot 16-15
4:53   Personal foul on Nikola Jokic  
4:42   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
4:17   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
4:15   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
4:07   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
4:07 +2 Paul Millsap made dunk 16-17
3:55   Patty Mills missed driving layup  
3:54   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
3:43   Paul Millsap missed jump shot  
3:39   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
3:33   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
3:33   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:33   SA team rebound  
3:33 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 17-17
3:19   Offensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
3:04   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
3:01   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
2:43 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made layup, assist by Patty Mills 19-17
2:32   Monte Morris missed jump shot  
2:29   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
2:21 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made layup, assist by Rudy Gay 21-17
2:10   Personal foul on Patty Mills  
2:10 +1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 21-18
2:10 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-19
1:53   Rudy Gay missed turnaround jump shot  
1:51   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
1:44   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
1:41   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
1:29 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made hook shot 23-19
1:07 +2 Mason Plumlee made dunk, assist by Torrey Craig 23-21
0:56 +2 Marco Belinelli made finger-roll layup, assist by Patty Mills 25-21
0:31   Defensive rebound by Patty Mills  
0:22   Personal foul on Mason Plumlee  
0:22 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 26-21
0:22   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:21   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
0:02   Offensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
0:00   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:41 +2 DeMar DeRozan made jump shot, assist by Jakob Poeltl 28-21
11:21 +2 Monte Morris made layup, assist by Mason Plumlee 28-23
11:09 +3 Davis Bertans made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Patty Mills 31-23
10:51   Bad pass turnover on Mason Plumlee, stolen by Bryn Forbes  
10:45 +2 Jakob Poeltl made layup, assist by Davis Bertans 33-23
10:29   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot, blocked by Jakob Poeltl  
10:25   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
10:21 +2 DeMar DeRozan made finger-roll layup 35-23
10:02   Malik Beasley missed finger-roll layup  
10:02   SA team rebound  
9:39   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:37   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
9:25 +2 DeMar DeRozan made layup, assist by Patty Mills 37-23
9:07   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:04   Defensive rebound by Davis Bertans  
8:58   Shooting foul on Gary Harris  
8:58 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 38-23
8:58 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-23
8:38   Nikola Jokic missed fade-away jump shot  
8:36   Defensive rebound by Davis Bertans  
8:29 +2 DeMar DeRozan made finger-roll layup 41-23
8:28   Full timeout called  
8:28 +1 DeMar DeRozan made free throw 42-23
8:15   Nikola Jokic missed hook shot  
8:13   Nikola Jokic missed dunk  
8:10   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:50   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
7:44 +3 Nikola Jokic made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 42-28
7:32   Personal foul on Gary Harris  
7:20   Shooting foul on Davis Bertans  
7:07   Bryn Forbes missed finger-roll layup  
7:05   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:01 +3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 42-34
6:41   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
6:30   Defensive rebound by Davis Bertans  
6:21 +2 Derrick White made floating jump shot 44-34
6:08   Shooting foul on Davis Bertans  
6:08   Paul Millsap missed 1st of 2 free throws  
6:08   DEN team rebound  
6:08   Paul Millsap missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:03   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
5:49   LaMarcus Aldridge missed turnaround jump shot  
5:44   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
5:39   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
5:27   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
5:16   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
5:04   Paul Millsap missed floating jump shot  
5:03   Personal foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
4:45 +2 Derrick White made jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 46-36
4:18 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot 46-38
4:03   Rudy Gay missed jump shot  
3:59   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
3:51 +2 Paul Millsap made driving layup 46-40
3:37 +2 Derrick White made jump shot 48-40
3:16   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
3:13   Defensive rebound by Derrick White  
3:00   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
2:55 +2 Gary Harris made finger-roll layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 48-42
2:40   Personal foul on Jamal Murray  
2:30   Shooting foul on Will Barton  
2:30 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 49-42
2:30 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-42
2:15   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:11   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
2:04 +2 DeMar DeRozan made jump shot 52-42
1:52 +2 Monte Morris made jump shot 52-44
1:38   Personal foul on Nikola Jokic  
1:38 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 53-44
1:38 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 54-44
1:27   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:18   Bad pass turnover on Derrick White, stolen by Jamal Murray  
1:13 +2 Paul Millsap made dunk, assist by Monte Morris 54-46
0:48 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made hook shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 56-46
0:36   Shooting foul on Derrick White  
0:36 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 56-47
0:36 +1 Nikola Jokic made 2nd of 2 free throws 56-48
0:30 +3 Derrick White made 3-pt. jump shot 59-48
0:21   Personal foul on Marco Belinelli  
0:21 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 59-49
0:21   Nikola Jokic missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:21   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
0:02   Offensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
0:01   Davis Bertans missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:01   SA team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:47   Derrick White missed jump shot  
11:42   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
11:32 +3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 59-52
11:17   Personal foul on Paul Millsap  
11:08   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
11:08 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 60-52
11:08 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 61-52
10:50   Nikola Jokic missed floating jump shot  
10:50   SA team rebound  
10:50   Personal foul on Nikola Jokic  
10:31   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
10:27   Offensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
10:22   Jakob Poeltl missed hook shot  
10:12   Personal foul on Jakob Poeltl  
10:05 +2 Gary Harris made layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 61-54
10:05   Shooting foul on Bryn Forbes  
10:05   Violation  
10:05   Gary Harris missed free throw  
10:03   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
9:48 +2 Derrick White made finger-roll layup 63-54
9:39   Out of bounds turnover on Nikola Jokic  
9:27   Shooting foul on Will Barton  
9:27 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 64-54
9:27 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 2nd of 2 free throws 65-54
9:11   Gary Harris missed jump shot  
9:08   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
8:53   DeMar DeRozan missed fade-away jump shot  
8:51   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
8:35   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:35   Personal foul on Mason Plumlee  
8:35   Jakob Poeltl missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:35   SA team rebound  
8:35 +1 Jakob Poeltl made 2nd of 2 free throws 66-54
8:27   Personal foul on Jakob Poeltl  
8:11   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
7:59   LaMarcus Aldridge missed driving layup  
7:57   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:56   Violation  
7:46 +2 Gary Harris made layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 66-56
7:32   Jakob Poeltl missed layup, blocked by Mason Plumlee  
7:30   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:27   Bad pass turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by DeMar DeRozan  
7:11   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:08   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:00   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:58   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
6:46 +3 Bryn Forbes made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 69-56
6:24   Nikola Jokic missed floating jump shot, blocked by Jakob Poeltl  
6:22   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
6:20 +2 Derrick White made dunk, assist by Bryn Forbes 71-56
6:05   Shooting foul on Jakob Poeltl  
6:05   Will Barton missed 1st of 2 free throws  
6:05   DEN team rebound  
6:05 +1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 71-57
5:45 +2 DeMar DeRozan made floating jump shot, assist by Rudy Gay 73-57
5:42 +2 Gary Harris made dunk, assist by Nikola Jokic 73-59
5:19 +2 Rudy Gay made fade-away jump shot, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 75-59
4:53   Monte Morris missed jump shot  
4:51   DEN team rebound  
4:40   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:37   Defensive rebound by Patty Mills  
4:28 +2 Rudy Gay made driving layup, assist by Patty Mills 77-59
4:28   Shooting foul on Mason Plumlee  
4:28 +1 Rudy Gay made free throw 78-59
4:19 +3 Nikola Jokic made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malik Beasley 78-62
4:02   Rudy Gay missed jump shot  
4:00   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
3:56 +2 Monte Morris made finger-roll layup, assist by Mason Plumlee 78-64
3:32 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made turnaround jump shot 80-64
3:09 +2 Nikola Jokic made floating jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 80-66
2:51   Bad pass turnover on Patty Mills, stolen by Monte Morris  
2:47 +2 Gary Harris made finger-roll layup 80-68
2:31   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
2:30   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
2:13 +3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 80-71
1:50   Rudy Gay missed fade-away jump shot  
1:35   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
1:28   Marco Belinelli missed jump shot  
1:21 +3 Malik Beasley made 3-pt. jump shot 80-74
1:04   Out of bounds turnover on Rudy Gay  
0:42   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
0:40   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
0:30   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
0:30   Rudy Gay missed dunk  
0:30   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
0:28   Shooting foul on Patty Mills  
0:28   DEN team rebound  
0:28 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 80-75
0:13   Shooting foul on Mason Plumlee  
0:13 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 81-75
0:13 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 82-75
0:03   Monte Morris missed jump shot  
0:00   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
0:00