Nuggets tie 1st-round series over Spurs

Agence France-Presse
Nuggets tie 1st-round series over Spurs
The Nuggets tie the series at 2-2 with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray leading the way

NEW YORK, USA – Denver posted the second-best regular-season record in the West this season, but it was Spurs that could have pushed the Nuggets to the brink of elimination with a 117-103 victory on Saturday, April 20. 

Instead, the Nuggets hit 15-of-31 points from three-point range and snapped a 14-game losing streak in San Antonio dating to March 2012, with Nikola Jokic’s 29 points and Jamal Murray’s 24 points leading the way.

“We haven’t won here in a while. That was on our minds,” Murray said. “Now we go back home 2-2. We’ll bring the same defensive energy and get the job done.”

Deadlocked with the host Spurs 54-54 at half-time after erasing a 12-point deficit, the Nuggets surged ahead in the third quarter, thanks in part to a total run of 28 minutes without a turnover.

Murray began a 12-3 Denver run with a 3-pointer and a slam dunk and Jokic added four free throws as the  Nuggets opened an 83-72 lead and stretched the margin to 91-79 entering the fourth quarter.

The Spurs came no closer than 10 points the rest of the way, with San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan ejected in the closing minutes after forcefully throwing a ball in frustration.

“The team was great. The team was amazing,” Murray said. “A must win tonight and we did it. We all believe in each other.”

The series continues with Game 5 Tuesday in Denver.

Later games Saturday find Milwaukee at Detroit and Houston at Utah with each visiting club leading its series 2-0.

The NBA also announced a $15,000 fine on Saturday against Portland forward Maurice Harkless for tossing his headband into the stands in the final seconds of a 120-108 loss Friday at Oklahoma City. Harkless was given a technical foul and ejected for the move. –

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