SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The last time the Denver Nuggets won a game in San Antonio in 2012, the center of the stars Nikola Jokic was 17 years old.
"I was probably riding," he says.
The Nuggets came out of the AT & T center on Saturday night after doing something that their current lineup had never done: win at San Antonio. Responding to head coach Michael Malone's challenge of the Spurs, the Nuggets erased a 12-point deficit to take a 14-game losing streak to San Antonio with a 117-103 win over the Spurs.
The Nuggets have not won in this building since March 4, 2012 and now have a home advantage after the NBA playoff series night with the best of seven losses at 2-2. The fifth game will be held in Denver on Tuesday.
"I saw a confidence in myself," Malone said of his team that had taken up the challenge of the last few days to play harder than the Spurs. "I saw a young team that was not thinking of 2012. Because if you think about the last seven years, it's going to overwhelm you.We live in the present.We live today."
Jamal Murray from Denver came back to life in this series. After barely getting a great quarterback, when he scored 21 points in the fourth to help Denver take part in the second game, Murray scored 24 points and 6 assists to lead the Nuggets to victory.
The Spurs were up 11 with 7 minutes and 46 seconds in the second quarter when the Nuggets responded with a 20-9 run to tie the score at 54-54. In the third quarter, the Spurs were led by two points when the Nuggets hit them with a 20-8 run to take a 14-point lead just before the end of the third. Murray unleashed this push, hitting a 3-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire, thus repelling an emphatic dunk of a Jokic exchange and then helping out a pointer Torrey Craig.
"The 3 points at the end of the clock were big," said Jokic, who was the most aggressive in the series' offensive with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. "He needs so few triggers to go to another level, and when he goes to another level, he takes us all with him."
Looking to give the starting lineup of the Nuggets a good start, Malone replaced Craig in the place of Will Barton, in trouble, and the blow worked. Craig responded with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Barton, who had shot 1-for-13 from behind the bow in the first three games, scored 12 points and buried his three 3-bench attempts from the bench.
Craig has allowed the Nuggets to transfer Gary Harris from DeMar DeRozan to White. After White became Nuggets and scoring the highest score of his career with 36 points in the Spurs' third game victory, Harris allowed White to score just 8 points and 5 assists on Saturday.
White – who has had successive shots and made 12 of 14 shots in the paint alone on Thursday night – was limited to three baskets on the rim and did not score anymore after a shutdown with a time remaining of 6:24 in the third quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who has 24 points and 9 rebounds, did not play in the fourth quarter, as the Nuggets' lead never dropped more than 10%. And DeRozan, who had 19 points, was sent off with 5:01 to play after being called for an offensive charge and firing the ball to the official Scott Foster.
"Overall, the Nuggets competed and we did not do it," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "Their physique was obvious from the start, we knew it was going to happen, and we did not answer, so it's a very disappointing defeat, because I think the Nuggets played harder and smarter. that we."
Subsequently, Murray spoke of the resilience of the Nuggets, something that was exposed in his own game after being the receiver of the evening of career White in the third game.
"I'm still bouncing," said Murray.
Murray was only 15 when the Nuggets won their last win in San Antonio. He does not remember what he was doing or where he was at the time.
But he said that he will always remember the night in San Antonio where the series of lost roads ended in Denver.
Murray says, "I was here tonight."