DEN
SA

No Text

Nuggets beat Spurs 117-103 to tie series at 2-2

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Denver coach Mike Malone wanted more passion, fire and emotion. The young Nuggets responded.

Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Jamal Murray added 24 points and Denver beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-103 on Saturday night, rebounding from a flat performance tie the first-round series at two games apiece.

''We can talk to we're blue in the face about, `Hey, we're going to hit them first,' and all that,'' Malone said. ''Go out there and do it.''

The Nuggets did so, winning in San Antonio for the first time since 2012. Denver had lost three straight postseason games in San Antonio dating to their last playoff matchup in 2007 and had also lost 13 straight regular-season games on the road to the Spurs.

''It's an unbelievable win,'' said Paul Millsap, one of the few Nuggets with previous postseason experience. ''I can't put into words the magnitude of this win.''

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Denver.

The Nuggets were more aggressive and physical after a deflating Game 3 loss, which was expected. What wasn't expected was the flat response by the veteran Spurs.

''The Nuggets competed and we did not,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. ''Their physicality was obvious from the get-go. You knew that was going to happen and we did not respond. So, it was a very disappointing loss.''

LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan added 19 points before he was ejected with five minutes remaining after throwing a ball past an official and into the stands.

''Frustration,'' DeRozan said. ''I mean, I thought it was a bad call.''

Malone fanned San Antonio's frustrations with a couple of changes after Derrick White's 36-point outing in San Antonio's Game 3 victory.

Torrey Craig started over a struggling Will Barton and was charged with defending White to open the game along with Gary Harris, with Murray switching to Bryn Forbes. The moves proved beneficial, if not at first.

''He's a really good defender,'' Jokic said about Craig. ''He's helping us on defensive rebounds. So, he helps in that part of the game, and his defense is really phenomenal. And when he's making shots like tonight, it's a great job by him.''

White was limited to eight points on 3-for-8 shooting after going 15 for 21 on Thursday. Craig finished with 18 points, going 5 for 7 on 3-pointers. Barton finished with 12 points and made all three of his 3-point attempts.

''They executed their game plan better,'' White said. ''We kind of helped them out by playing awful.''

Down by 12 points in the first quarter, Denver outscored San Antonio 69-45 in the second and third.

''We did a really good job defensively, that's what won us the game,'' Murray said. ''In quarters two, three and four, we got our run because of our defense because we all collectively rebounded. It was just a collective effort that led to our offense.''

San Antonio had 60 points in the pain, only two off its Game 3 total, but they had 11 fewer second-chance points and nine less Fastbreak points.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver's last playoff victory in San Antonio was April 22, 2007. The Nuggets have lost 13 straight in San Antonio during the regular season. ... Barton started 38 of 43 games during the regular season and the first three games of the series.

Spurs: San Antonio hosted its 200th playoff game and competed in its 400th overall, joining Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles (Lakers) as the only franchises with that postseason experience. ... The Spurs have led after the first quarter in every game this series. ... Aldridge made his 35th postseason appearance with the Spurs, one more than he did in nine seasons with Portland.

UP NEXT

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Denver.

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

Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
D. DeRozan
10 SG
36.7 Min. Per Game 36.7
24.7 Pts. Per Game 24.7
4.3 Ast. Per Game 4.3
7.7 Reb. Per Game 7.7
48.3 Field Goal % 49.3
47.6 Three Point % 48.1
90.0 Free Throw % 87.1
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:07
  Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley 0:30
  Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:35
+ 2 Monte Morris made finger-roll layup 0:42
+ 3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Lonnie Walker IV 1:07
+ 1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:18
+ 1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 1:18
  Personal foul on Quincy Pondexter 1:18
  Personal foul on Quincy Pondexter 1:22
  Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig 1:52
  Donatas Motiejunas missed 2nd of 2 free throws 1:55
Team Stats
Points 117 103
Field Goals 40-89 (44.9%) 37-79 (46.8%)
3-Pointers 15-31 (48.4%) 5-17 (29.4%)
Free Throws 22-24 (91.7%) 24-32 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 48 53
Offensive 11 11
Defensive 34 35
Team 3 7
Assists 25 23
Steals 4 4
Blocks 2 4
Turnovers 7 9
Fouls 22 22
Technicals 0 1
29 PTS, 12 REB, 8 AST
24 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo 2 Nuggets 2-2 22323726117
home team logo 7 Spurs 2-2 34202524103
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 2-2 109.1 PPG 47.7 RPG 24.0 APG
home team logo Spurs 2-2 103.3 PPG 45.1 RPG 21.1 APG
Key Players
N. Jokic C 25.1 PPG 13.0 RPG 8.4 APG 50.6 FG%
L. Aldridge PF 20.0 PPG 9.6 RPG 2.7 APG 45.5 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Jokic C 29 PTS 12 REB 8 AST
L. Aldridge PF 24 PTS 9 REB 1 AST
44.9 FG% 46.8
48.4 3PT FG% 29.4
91.7 FT% 75.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 29 12 8 10/22 1/4 8/8 3 38 0 0 0 5 7 +17 57
J. Murray 24 2 6 8/14 3/5 5/5 1 33 0 0 1 0 2 +15 37
T. Craig 18 8 0 6/9 5/7 1/2 4 37 2 1 0 0 8 +10 29
G. Harris 8 6 2 2/9 2/5 2/2 0 34 1 0 0 1 5 +14 19
P. Millsap 2 4 0 1/7 0/2 0/0 3 27 1 1 2 2 2 +8 6
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 29 12 8 10/22 1/4 8/8 3 38 0 0 0 5 7 +17 57
J. Murray 24 2 6 8/14 3/5 5/5 1 33 0 0 1 0 2 +15 37
T. Craig 18 8 0 6/9 5/7 1/2 4 37 2 1 0 0 8 +10 29
G. Harris 8 6 2 2/9 2/5 2/2 0 34 1 0 0 1 5 +14 19
P. Millsap 2 4 0 1/7 0/2 0/0 3 27 1 1 2 2 2 +8 6
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
W. Barton 12 4 2 3/10 3/3 3/4 1 15 0 0 0 1 3 +5 20
M. Morris 11 5 2 5/8 0/1 1/1 3 15 0 0 3 2 3 +1 17
M. Beasley 7 4 2 2/7 1/4 2/2 3 24 0 0 0 0 4 +5 15
M. Plumlee 6 0 3 3/3 0/0 0/0 4 10 0 0 1 0 0 -3 11
J. Hernangomez 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
J. Vanderbilt 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
I. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Goodwin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lyles - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Welsh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 117 45 25 40/89 15/31 22/24 22 235 4 2 7 11 34 +70 211
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Aldridge 24 9 1 10/18 1/2 3/4 2 29 2 1 0 3 6 -8 38
D. DeRozan 19 5 5 7/13 0/0 5/6 4 33 0 0 2 1 4 -16 32
B. Forbes 10 4 1 3/6 2/4 2/2 2 27 0 1 1 0 4 -14 16
J. Poeltl 8 9 2 3/5 0/0 2/2 4 29 0 1 0 4 5 -12 22
D. White 8 4 5 3/8 0/2 2/4 1 27 0 1 4 0 4 -19 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Aldridge 24 9 1 10/18 1/2 3/4 2 29 2 1 0 3 6 -8 38
D. DeRozan 19 5 5 7/13 0/0 5/6 4 33 0 0 2 1 4 -16 32
B. Forbes 10 4 1 3/6 2/4 2/2 2 27 0 1 1 0 4 -14 16
J. Poeltl 8 9 2 3/5 0/0 2/2 4 29 0 1 0 4 5 -12 22
D. White 8 4 5 3/8 0/2 2/4 1 27 0 1 4 0 4 -19 19
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
P. Mills 12 2 3 3/6 0/2 6/8 1 17 1 0 0 0 2 -1 21
D. Motiejunas 7 3 1 3/4 0/0 1/2 1 5 0 0 0 1 2 +3 12
D. Bertans 5 0 1 2/4 0/1 1/2 2 20 0 0 0 0 0 -4 7
M. Belinelli 3 3 0 1/5 1/3 0/0 1 17 0 0 1 0 3 -1 5
D. Cunningham 3 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 +3 3
R. Gay 2 6 2 0/7 0/1 2/2 2 18 0 0 1 2 4 -9 11
L. Walker IV 2 0 2 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 +5 6
Q. Pondexter 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 +3 2
C. Metu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Murray - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Moore - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Eubanks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 103 46 23 37/79 5/17 24/32 22 233 4 4 9 11 35 -70 194