The Spurs moved closer to pulling a first round upset over the second seeded Denver Nuggets on Thursday. San Antonio took Game 3 at home, going up 2-1 on Denver. Derrick White chose a good time to have his career high, scoring 36 points on 15-21 shooting. DeMar DeRozan chipped in 25 points in the win, putting the Spurs in a great position heading into Game 4.
The loss will be a tough one for the Nuggets to take. Denver shot the ball really well on the night, shooting 51.9% from the field, and 51.7% three-point range. The problems game in the turnover department. The Nuggets turned the ball over 13 times, with point guard Jamal Murray giving it up a team-high four times. He only outscored his turnover total by two points, contributing just six points on the night. Nikola Jokic was the best Nugget on the floor on Thursday. The big man had 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists on the night, but was unable to lead Denver to a big road win.
Game 4 will be played in San Antonio on Saturday. Although it is not a must-win game for the Nuggets, it’s getting close. Only 11 teams have erased a 3-1 deficit in NBA playoff history, and hasn’t been done since the 2016 Cleveland Cavs. Surely this young Nuggets team would not want to try to become the 12th team to do so, and must avoid a Game 4 loss on the road. Expect Nikola Jokic to impose himself on this next game. After such an efficient and productive season, it will be up to him to take his squad to the next level in the postseason. Jokic put up 20.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists during the regular season, and needs to be even better than this when his team need a big performance, like they do on Saturday.