After a 54-28 regular season tucked away in Mountain Standard Time and a first round of the playoffs relegated mostly to NBA TV, the Denver Nuggets advanced to the second round with Saturday's 90-86 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7.
Nikola Jokic led the way with a triple-double of 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the Western Conference first-round playoff decider.
The Denver Nuggets are moving on in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
Patty Mills, guarding a streaking Murray, also failed to foul Jokic when he brushed by the Nuggets center while chasing his man. 'We were able to close it out and it was an awesome effort from the team all around.
The second seeds will now advance to play the fourth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, with Game 1 scheduled for today (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) in Denver. Game 2 will be held at the Scotiabank Arena today. Denver made five of its first seven shots in the third quarter and built a 17-point lead.
Throughout the fourth quarter, San Antonio continued to find Bryn Forbes, who shot 7/11 for the day and seemed to be the only one capable of making a jump shot.
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Simply stated, Jokic dominated and carried the second-seeded Nuggets past the San Antonio Spurs in hard-fought seven-game series.
"I missed it", LaMarcus Aldridge said of Popovich calling a foul.
A total head-scratcher that Gregg Popovich's squad did not foul here to at least try to extend the game. "I mean, I think the team expected me to do something, so I'm just going out there and trying to play my best basketball possible. I'm surprised people stayed".
They certainly kept it together at the Pepsi Centre, never trailing all night despite a team-leading 21 points from Spurs forward Rudy Gay, and a big reason why Denver came up clutch had to do with Jokic. Denver had a four-point lead and possession for 24 full seconds.
"I'm fine playing either one of them, but homecourt, obviously, would be great", Lillard said Friday. 'This was a really hard-fought series. They're already missing Jusuf Nurkic after he broke his leg in an overtime victory at home over the Brooklyn Nets on March 25.
In Toronto, Kawhi Leonard said he was not interested in putting up a career-high points total against the Philadelphia 76ers. As a result, the Nuggets were eventually able to stretch their lead out to 17-points, 67-50, with 4:14 left in the third.