The Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs started with a run from the Spurs. The game was 6-5 in favor of Denver, and the Spurs ripped off eight points in 50 seconds to get all the momentum in their favor. Following misses from both sides, the Nuggets got buckets from Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to get within two. After a couple of minutes of misses, another triple from MPJ got Denver back out in front. Denver’s offense was playing well, but Keldon Johnson was firing hard to keep the Spurs in the game. As the final minutes of the quarter ticked away, the two sides struggled to generate offense with their starters heading to the bench. Denver committed several turnovers down the stretch while the Spurs were failing to convert those turnovers into a lead as the two sides ended the quarter tied at 28.
The second quarter saw the scoring very back and forth throughout. Denver started somewhat slow, but they turned things on a bit with the bench going 5-of-6 in the quarter after being just 1-of-5 in the first. For the Spurs, they were swarming and getting points from everyone. Their bench had chipped in 22 points with a little under four minutes remaining in the half. Over those final few minutes, the two sides were in a competition to see who could commit more fouls to get to the free-throw line. Denver ultimately won the quarter battle, and they were leading 65-62 at the half on the road.
The two sides started the second half trading baskets, and Keldon was doing most of the scoring. He was leading a huge run for San Antonio, and they went on an 11-3 run that prompted a quick Michael Malone timeout. Coming out of the timeout, whatever Malone said in the huddle must have worked because the Nuggets promptly went on a 13-0 run before a Tre Jones triple stopped the bleeding. Denver’s starting unit gradually stretched the lead to 11, but the Spurs weren’t going down without a fight. Their second unit was clawing back. They got within five to make it 94-89 heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter started with a lot of reserves on the floor for both sides, and it was a slow start all around with each side scoring just two points a piece in the first three minutes of play. Tre was back in the game for the Spurs, and he made his impact in a hurry to bring the Spurs within three with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. Following a Denver timeout, their starters were back in the game, and they were trading buckets and the lead back and forth with San Antonio. Neither side could gain any separation with each team trading one-point leads in the final five minutes. A 3-point shot from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope stretched Denver’s lead to four with a little over three minutes to go, and he promptly forced a turnover on the other end to get Denver the ball back. Denver’s lead stretched to six before back-to-back Spurs buckets cut it to two with around 1:40 remaining. A wild sequence featuring roughly four loose balls, two offensive rebounds and a partridge in a pear tree took about 30 seconds off the clock but remained in Denver’s possession. Out of a timeout, Jokic hit a long-range jumper which put Denver up by four with a minute left. The final dagger was a whip pass from Murray to Aaron Gordon under the basket for a dunk to give them a six-point lead with under 30 seconds to go. Denver would hang on to win 115-109 to move to 7-3 overall on the year.
Points: Nikola Jokic – 26
Assists: Nikola Jokic – 10
Rebounds: DeAndre Jordan & Jokic – 8
Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic – 26 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 11-of-20 field goal, 0-of-1 3-point, 4-of-5 free throw