SA
DEN

No Text

Jokic, Nuggets hold off Spurs 90-86 in Game 7 to advance

DENVER (AP) Time was winding down and the San Antonio Spurs couldn't hear their coach screaming for someone to foul over all the noise.

That's one for the Denver crowd.

The Nuggets also are making some noise.

Nikola Jokic had another triple-double, Jamal Murray hit a clutch floater with 36.8 seconds remaining and the Nuggets held off the Spurs 90-86 in Game 7 on Saturday night to advance in the postseason for the first time in a decade.

''I love the grit, the resiliency, the toughness we played with tonight,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''Even late when they made their run ... we never lost our composure.''

In a matchup between a Denver team with the youngest playoff roster in the West and the savvy Spurs, the second-seeded Nuggets built a 17-point lead in the third quarter only to see it whittled down to two with 52 seconds remaining.

Jokic finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, with no pass bigger than the one to set up Murray's floater. DeMar DeRozan had a chance to slice into the deficit but was blocked by Torrey Craig. With time running out, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich yelled and yelled for someone to commit a foul, just to prolong the game. The roar was too loud. The Nuggets were able to essentially run out the time and begin their celebration.

''After the game you're thinking, `Why didn't they foul?''' Craig said.

Easy: It was just too loud. Denver went an NBA-best 34-7 at home in the regular season and rode the energy of the packed house all the way to the end.

''I missed it,'' LaMarcus Aldridge said of Popovich calling a foul. ''That's it.''

Since making the Western Conference finals in 2009, the Nuggets have bowed out in the first round on four occasions. This was their first playoff appearance in six seasons.

Denver will host third-seeded Portland in a second-round series that begins Monday.

Murray added 23 points for the Nuggets, who captured a Game 7 for the first time since May 3, 1978, when David Thompson had 37 in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Nuggets never trailed Saturday.

''Anxiety is a good word,'' Malone joked.

Rudy Gay had 21 points for San Antonio, while DeRozan and Bryn Forbes each added 19. The Spurs fell to 3-4 in Games 7s under Popovich.

Jokic turned in another monster game. Jokic showed off his arsenal of shots, even throwing in a sky hook. He played a little more than 43 minutes - just slightly down from the 48 minutes Malone pledged to play him during pregame.

''Bumps and bruises, whatever,'' Jokic said. ''You need to fight them in this moment.''

Told his numbers for the series - 162 points, 85 rebounds, 64 assists - Jokic responded:

''And win,'' he said.

The big man also had a triple-double in Game 1.

''He's magnificent, magnificent,'' Popovich said. ''I'll just leave it at that.''

It was a forgettable first half for the Spurs, who trailed 47-34 after shooting 22.2% from the floor. The Spurs hit 10 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter.

''If we had that in the first half we would have had a better chance of winning,'' DeRozan said.

TIP-INS

Spurs: G Patty Mills played in his 85th playoff game with San Antonio, tying him with Sean Elliott for ninth-most in franchise history. ... Aldridge finished with 16 points.

Nuggets: Denver was 2 of 20 from 3-point range. ... Harris had 11 points.

CLANG

Both teams shot slightly less than 40% from the field for the game.

''Tonight was an odd game,'' Popovich said. ''I thought both teams set basketball back in the first half. I'm surprised people stayed.''

SCREEN GAME

The Nuggets weren't particularly pleased with the way the Spurs set screens during the series. More specifically, Jakob Poeltl, whose knee caught Murray in the thigh during the third quarter of Game 6.

DeRozan bristled at the notion that Poeltl may be a dirty player.

''Anybody that thinks Jakob is a dirty play, they have a dirty mind,'' DeRozan said. ''Jakob is not a dirty player at all. He goes out there and plays extremely hard. His intent is never to hurt anybody.''

HOOPS HISTORIAN

A big basketball historian, Gay reflected on the loss of John Havlicek, the Boston Celtics star and Hall of Famer who died Thursday at 79. Gay said Havlicek's versatility paved the way for players like him.

''Couldn't shoot like him,'' Gay said. ''Wish I could.''

POP'S THOUGHTS

Popovich was asked in a round-about way what his future as a head coach will be after this season.

''I'm a head coach in the NBA,'' Popovich responded. ''I don't think about what that means in the future.''

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:38 +2 Nikola Jokic made finger-roll layup 0-2
11:13   Derrick White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:09   Offensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
10:59   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
10:46   Offensive foul on Paul Millsap  
10:32 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 2-2
10:13 +2 Nikola Jokic made finger-roll layup, assist by Jamal Murray 2-4
10:12   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
9:53   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
9:46 +2 Gary Harris made finger-roll layup 2-6
9:39   Bryn Forbes missed layup  
9:37   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
9:33   Personal foul on Bryn Forbes  
9:25   Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:22   Defensive rebound by Derrick White  
9:10   DeMar DeRozan missed floating jump shot  
9:08   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
9:04   Personal foul on Jakob Poeltl  
9:00   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
8:57   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:52   Personal foul on Jamal Murray  
8:44   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
8:38   Offensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:38   Jakob Poeltl missed dunk  
8:37   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
8:21   Paul Millsap missed reverse layup, blocked by LaMarcus Aldridge  
8:21   DEN team rebound  
8:16 +2 Nikola Jokic made fade-away jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 2-8
7:38   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
7:37   Shooting foul on Jakob Poeltl  
7:37 +1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 2-9
7:37 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-10
7:19   Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig  
7:09   Out of bounds turnover on Torrey Craig  
6:58   Bryn Forbes missed jump shot  
6:38   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
6:24   Jumpball  
6:19   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
6:14   Shooting foul on Derrick White  
6:14 +1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 2-11
6:14 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-12
5:56 +2 Patty Mills made reverse layup, assist by DeMar DeRozan 4-12
5:40   Jamal Murray missed floating jump shot  
5:37   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
5:21 +3 Torrey Craig made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 4-15
4:54   Patty Mills missed driving layup, blocked by Gary Harris  
4:54   SA team rebound  
4:50   LaMarcus Aldridge missed turnaround jump shot  
4:48   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
4:36   Nikola Jokic missed floating jump shot  
4:25   Marco Belinelli missed jump shot  
4:23   Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig  
4:17   Bad pass turnover on Torrey Craig, stolen by DeMar DeRozan  
4:17   Personal foul on Torrey Craig  
3:56   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
3:57   Personal foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
3:57 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 4-16
3:57   Nikola Jokic missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
3:52   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:49   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
3:41   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
3:37   Out of bounds turnover on DeMar DeRozan  
3:37   Offensive foul on Gary Harris  
3:37   Turnover on Gary Harris  
3:19   Patty Mills missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:14   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
3:11   Shooting foul on LaMarcus Aldridge  
3:11   Jamal Murray missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:11 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-17
2:49 +2 Rudy Gay made finger-roll layup 6-17
2:29   Nikola Jokic missed driving layup  
2:26   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
2:26   Nikola Jokic missed dunk  
2:25   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
2:14 +2 Rudy Gay made driving layup, assist by Patty Mills 8-19
1:56   Paul Millsap missed driving dunk, blocked by Rudy Gay  
1:53   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
1:52 +2 Paul Millsap made fade-away jump shot 8-21
1:27   Rudy Gay missed layup, blocked by Nikola Jokic  
1:27   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
1:27   Shooting foul on Nikola Jokic  
1:27 +1 Rudy Gay made free throw 11-21
0:59   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
0:46   Personal foul on Torrey Craig  
0:46 +1 Rudy Gay made 1st of 2 free throws 12-21
0:32   Will Barton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:28   Offensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
0:28 +2 Malik Beasley made dunk 13-23
0:09   Rudy Gay missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:06   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
0:00   Malik Beasley missed 3-pt. fade-away jump shot  
0:00   DEN team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:39 +3 Patty Mills made 3-pt. fade-away jump shot, assist by Rudy Gay 16-23
11:26   Personal foul on Patty Mills  
11:16   Shooting foul on Derrick White  
11:16   Will Barton missed 1st of 2 free throws  
11:16   DEN team rebound  
11:16 +1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 16-24
11:02   Patty Mills missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:59   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
10:53   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
10:45   Patty Mills missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Will Barton  
10:42   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
10:32   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:28   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
10:16   Bryn Forbes missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:14   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
10:10   Shooting foul on Marco Belinelli  
10:10 +1 Mason Plumlee made free throw 16-27
9:47   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
9:47   LaMarcus Aldridge missed dunk  
9:47   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
9:36   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:10   Jakob Poeltl missed floating jump shot  
9:07   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
8:51   Malik Beasley missed fade-away jump shot  
8:49   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:38   Derrick White missed fade-away jump shot  
8:33   Offensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
8:28   Personal foul on Paul Millsap  
8:19   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
8:16   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
8:10   Monte Morris missed finger-roll layup, blocked by LaMarcus Aldridge  
8:07   Defensive rebound by Derrick White  
8:02   Personal foul on Monte Morris  
7:50   Lost ball turnover on LaMarcus Aldridge, stolen by Mason Plumlee  
7:43   Mason Plumlee missed reverse layup  
7:41   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
7:31 +2 Bryn Forbes made floating jump shot, assist by Derrick White 18-29
7:07 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot 18-31
6:46   Rudy Gay missed driving layup, blocked by Will Barton  
6:44   SA team rebound  
6:37   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
6:15   Bad pass turnover on Will Barton, stolen by Rudy Gay  
6:12   Shooting foul on Jamal Murray  
6:12 +1 Derrick White made 1st of 2 free throws 19-31
6:12 +1 Derrick White made 2nd of 2 free throws 20-31
5:57   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
5:53   Out of bounds turnover on Derrick White  
5:41   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
5:35 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made layup, assist by Derrick White 22-31
5:13 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 22-33
4:57   Offensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
4:57   Shooting foul on Mason Plumlee  
4:57 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 23-33
4:57 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 2nd of 2 free throws 24-33
4:39 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot 24-35
4:27   Shooting foul on Torrey Craig  
4:27 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 1st of 2 free throws 25-35
4:27 +1 DeMar DeRozan made 2nd of 2 free throws 26-35
3:58   DeMar DeRozan missed floating jump shot  
3:57   SA team rebound  
3:48   Turnover on Rudy Gay  
3:32   Nikola Jokic missed jump shot  
3:29   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gay  
3:17   Shooting foul on Gary Harris  
3:17 +1 Derrick White made 2nd of 2 free throws 28-37
2:56   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
2:49   Personal foul on Nikola Jokic  
2:49 +1 LaMarcus Aldridge made 1st of 2 free throws 29-37
2:38   Personal foul on Rudy Gay  
2:29 +2 Paul Millsap made finger-roll layup 30-39
2:21   DeMar DeRozan missed finger-roll layup  
2:19   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
1:51 +2 DeMar DeRozan made dunk, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 32-41
1:29   Paul Millsap missed floating jump shot  
1:27   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
1:16 +2 Rudy Gay made finger-roll layup, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 34-41
1:04 +2 Monte Morris made jump shot 34-43
0:40   Rudy Gay missed driving dunk  
0:32   Shooting foul on DeMar DeRozan  
0:32 +1 Paul Millsap made 1st of 2 free throws 34-44
0:32 +1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 34-45
0:14   Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley  
0:01   Offensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
0:01 +2 Mason Plumlee made dunk 34-47
0:00   SA team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:40   Derrick White missed finger-roll layup  
11:38   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
11:23 +2 Nikola Jokic made floating jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 34-49
11:10 +2 DeMar DeRozan made floating jump shot, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 36-49
10:56 +2 Jamal Murray made floating jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 36-51
10:31 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 38-51
10:16   Torrey Craig missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:13   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
10:03   LaMarcus Aldridge missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:59   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
9:45 +2 Jamal Murray made floating jump shot, assist by Gary Harris 38-53
9:25   Derrick White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:21   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
9:12   Jumpball  
9:04   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
9:01   Defensive rebound by Bryn Forbes  
8:45   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
8:45   Bryn Forbes missed 1st of 3 free throws  
8:45 +1 Bryn Forbes made 2nd of 3 free throws 39-53
8:45 +1 Bryn Forbes made 3rd of 3 free throws 40-53
8:29 +2 Jamal Murray made finger-roll layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 40-55
8:06 +3 Rudy Gay made 3-pt. jump shot 43-55
7:46 +2 Gary Harris made floating jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 43-57
7:28 +2 Bryn Forbes made floating jump shot, assist by Patty Mills 45-57
7:16   Personal foul on Patty Mills  
7:12   Shooting foul on Bryn Forbes  
7:12 +1 Gary Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 45-58
7:12 +1 Gary Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 45-59
6:49   LaMarcus Aldridge missed jump shot  
6:45   Defensive rebound by Gary Harris  
6:38 +3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 45-62
6:22 +3 Bryn Forbes made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by LaMarcus Aldridge 48-62
5:58   Nikola Jokic missed layup, blocked by LaMarcus Aldridge  
5:54   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
5:52   Rudy Gay missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:49   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
5:48   Shooting foul on DeMar DeRozan  
5:48   Paul Millsap missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:48   DEN team rebound  
5:48 +1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 48-63
5:26 +2 DeMar DeRozan made finger-roll layup 50-63
5:11 +2 Jamal Murray made finger-roll layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 50-65
4:55   Patty Mills missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:53   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
4:49   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:45   Defensive rebound by LaMarcus Aldridge  
4:35   DeMar DeRozan missed jump shot  
4:32   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
4:14 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot 50-67
3:51 +2 LaMarcus Aldridge made jump shot 52-67
3:29 +2 Torrey Craig made reverse layup, assist by Nikola Jokic 52-69
3:14 +3 Rudy Gay made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by DeMar DeRozan 55-69
3:01 +2 Gary Harris made alley-oop shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 55-71
2:47 +2 DeMar DeRozan made finger-roll layup 57-71
2:33   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
2:17 +2 Rudy Gay made driving layup 59-71
1:55   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl  
1:55   Personal foul on Gary Harris  
1:45   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:42   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
1:15   Defensive rebound by Patty Mills  
1:07 +2 Jakob Poeltl made dunk, assist by Marco Belinelli 61-71
0:46   Gary Harris missed finger-roll layup  
0:45   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
0:46   Rudy Gay missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:37   Defensive rebound by Monte Morris  
0:29   Defensive rebound by DeMar DeRozan  
0:14   Rudy Gay missed jump shot  
0:11   Personal foul on Patty Mills  
0:03   Personal foul on Patty Mills  
0:03 +1 Monte Morris made 1st of 2 free throws 61-72
0:03   Monte Morris missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:02   Defensive rebound by Jakob Poeltl