DeRozan leads Spurs past Nuggets in Game 1, 101-96

Paola Ditto
Aprile 15, 2019

The Spurs marched to an early playoff victory behind DeMar DeRozan's 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to along with Derrick White's 16 points, three rebounds and five assists.

The double team was only effective because the Nuggets kept missing wide open shots which only encouraged the Spurs to keep doubling Jokic. "So hopefully he'll continue to play that way because it's gonna be a long series". As's Scott Rafferty noted in his series preview, "of the five players who led the [Nuggets] in minutes, Paul Millsap is the only one who has been in the playoffs before (87 career games)".

The Spurs will next take the court at the Pepsi Center for Game 2 of this best-of-7 series this Tuesday.

They never got the chance, though, as White, a second-year pro who moved into a bigger role when Dejounte Murray got hurt in the preseason, stripped Murray and drew the foul, then sank both shots. Gary Harris led the team in scoring with 20 points on seven of 12 shooting, Jamal Murray added 17 points with six steals, Will Barton added 15 points with 10 rebounds while Nikola Jokic racked up a triple-double of 10 points with 14 rebounds and 14 assists. "We tried to make everything tough on him and rebound the ball". "We didn't let Jokic play as much as he wanted and they didn't let LaMarcus play as much as he wanted". Denver cut it to seven but Minnesota answered with a dunk and layup to lead 88-77 with 6:43 left, prompting the Nuggets to call timeout.

The Nuggets made just 42 percent of their shots, 21 percent from 3-point range, and missed eight free throws while failing to score a single fast-break basket. So the Nuggets getting Jokic more involved in the offense starts by making open shots.

"He was spectacular", Popovich said.

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