Denver Nuggets rallied back and defeated the San Antoni Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference’s first round playoffs. And they did it after being behind 19 points. Mike Malone’s boys won 114-105, clinching their first win in the postseason after a long time.
Unlike the first match, when Jamal Murray was the main to blame, last night the Canadian guard showed his true potential in the final period. Murray delivered 21 of his 24 points, playing the most important role in the moments when mattered.
Things haven’t been easy for the hosts, who were 19 points behind in the second quarter, and couldn’t get into the rhythm. They could score for more than three and a half minutes at the early part of the second sequence, allowing the Spurs to make a 14-0 run which lifted them to 42-23.
The Nuggets came back for a brief moment but trailed 10 at the halftime.
It wasn’t any different in the third quarter when Spurs again reached a 19-point lead after Rudy Gay’s three-point play.
After that the Nuggets rallied back, and scored 11 unanswered points, making this a tight contest, with only 7 points deficit. The entire fourth quarter was about exchanging hits, up until the moments when Denver cracked Spurs’ defiance with Jokic’ jumper 3:20 before the end. From that moment on, the hosts made an 8-0 surge and created a big advantage which couldn’t be endangered.
Murray had 24 points for the home team, even though he missed his 8 shots of the game. He was 8 of 9 from the field in the last 12 minutes. Paul Millsap added 20 with 7 of 10 from the game, and Gary Harris had 23.
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Jokic was two assists short of reaching a triple-double in this match, his second in a row, as he scored 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and added 8 dishes.
Among the visitors, DeMar DeRozan had 31 points, with 7 boards. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24. Excellent Derrick White ended the game with 17.
The Spurs were 5 of 18 from behind the arc, but outrebounded the Nuggets 50-41.
The next game is in San Antonio this Thursday, where Denver didn’t beat the Spurs since 2012. Can they do it now, and avoid getting into troubles already in the first round of the playoffs?