basketball | nba

San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets Pick & Prediction APR 9TH 2021

FinishedTV: BSN | Altitude SportsPepsi Center Denver

515San Antonio Spurs
516Denver Nuggets

218.5o -111
-6.5 -110
1 2 3 4
26 24 33 36
36 25 35 25
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San Antonio vs. Denver Recap APR 9TH 2021

Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, Jamal Murray finished with 23 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 90-86 in Game 7 of a Western Conference quarterfinal series on Saturday night.

The second-seeded Nuggets advance to play the fourth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in the conference semifinals. Game 1 is Monday in Denver.

Rudy Gay had 21 points, DeMar DeRozan and Bryn Forbes scored 19 each and LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points and 11 rebounds for seventh-seeded San Antonio.

The Nuggets led the whole way but had to sweat out the ending.

Aldridge sank a layup to make it 84-80 with 4:13 left. San Antonio had a chance to get within one or two, but Forbes lost the ball on a drive to the basket, and Murray and Torrey Craig scored for Denver to make it 88-80.

Forbes hit a 3-pointer before DeRozan split a pair of free throws with 1:10 left to make it 88-84. Forbes dunked after a Denver miss go make it a two-point game with 52.2 seconds left.

Murray drained a floating 14-footer make it a four-point lead, and Craig blocked DeRozan's drive to the basket with 28.4 seconds left. The Spurs didn't foul, and Denver was able to run the clock down and hold on.

After a cold-shooting first half, both teams started hitting shots. Denver made five of its first seven shots in the third quarter and built a 17-point lead. The Spurs got within 72-61 heading into the fourth.

The Spurs missed 17 of first 19 shots and had just four points in the first nine minutes of the game yet trailed by only 13 points. Gay scored the last nine San Antonio points in the first quarter to keep it close.

The teams combined to go 2-for-22 from 3-point range in the first half and made just 28 of 90 shots. The Spurs' 34 points at halftime matched what they scored in the first quarter of Game 6.

Jokic (15 points) and Gay (11 points) were the only two players to reach double figures in the first half.

--Field Level Media


The Denver Nuggets will look to capture their eighth straight game and win the season series with the struggling San Antonio Spurs on Friday when the two teams square off in the second game of a two-games-in-three-nights set in the Mile High City.

The Nuggets shrugged off some early doldrums and beat San Antonio 106-96 on Wednesday in the first of the mini-series. The game was the second of a home back-to-back for Denver, which rolled past Detroit on Tuesday.

Nikola Jokic scored 25 points, distributed 10 assists and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Spurs, while Michael Porter Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets and Will Barton III hit for 14 points for Denver.

The Nuggets have captured 12 of their 15 games since the All-Star break and are 6-0 since acquiring Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee at the NBA's trade deadline.

"At this point of the season we're good," Jokic said. "At the beginning of the season we were trying to find ourselves but right now we're playing really well."

The Nuggets looked worse for the wear early on, trailing late in the second quarter before finding their stride against the Spurs, opening up a huge lead midway through the final period and winning their seventh straight contest.

Denver coach Michael Malone was forced to watch the final two and a half quarters of the game from a TV in the locker room after receiving two technical fouls for arguing a non-call against Jokic midway through the second quarter.

"That's been brewing for a while," Malone said after the game. "Watching the game on TV is probably like what the front office does. They probably sit there during the game and say, 'What the hell's he doing?'"

Dejounte Murray and Derrick White led the Spurs with 18 points each, with DeMar DeRozan scoring 14 and Patty Mills hitting for 12 points off the bench. San Antonio is reeling, having lost four consecutive games and eight of its past 10 outings.

"Poor play by too many people," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Wednesday's loss "(The) second team's got to play better. You just look at the plus/minus from the last few games -- first team is doing pretty well, but off the bench we've been just destroyed, and it happened again tonight."

San Antonio was good enough on defense to win on Wednesday and showed a marked improvement over its performance on its recent homestand, when it lost seven times in nine games, allowed at least 125 points in five of those defeats and at least 132 in four of them.

Murray said the Spurs' effort in practice is not carrying over to the games.

"We look good in shootarounds," Murray explained. "When we do practice, it looks damn near perfect. But it's got to translate. ... We got to figure it out. Take pride in playing defense and having your teammates' back.

"We gave Denver a lot of second chances (on Wednesday). We got to play through it. We got to toughen up and play for 48 minutes. Watch some film and be ready to go. It's the NBA."

Things can begin to turn around for the Spurs with a victory on Friday. San Antonio beat the Nuggets 119-109 at home on Jan. 29, so it understands the winning formula.

--Field Level Media

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Last 10

W 40% L 60%
4 6
  • @Indiana W 109 - 94
  • @Phoenix W 111 - 85
  • Portland L 107 - 106
  • @Toronto L 112 - 117
  • @Orlando W 120 - 97
  • @Dallas W 119 - 117
  • @Denver L 119 - 121
  • @Denver L 96 - 106
  • Cleveland L 125 - 101
  • Indiana L 139 - 133
W 80% L 20%
8 2
  • Memphis W 137 - 139
  • @Houston W 128 - 99
  • Miami W 106 - 123
  • @Golden State L 107 - 116
  • Boston L 105 - 87
  • San Antonio W 119 - 121
  • San Antonio W 96 - 106
  • Detroit W 119 - 134
  • Orlando W 109 - 119
  • @L.A. Clippers W 101 - 94

Next Games

  • Miami(03-20-19) L 110 - 105
  • Detroit(02-27-19) W 93 - 105
  • @New Orleans(01-25-21) D 0 - 0
  • @Washington(04-05-19) W 129 - 112
  • @Miami(11-07-18) L 88 - 95
  • @Portland(05-09-19) L 108 - 119
  • @Golden State(04-12-21) L 107 - 116
  • Houston(12-28-20) W 111 - 124
  • Memphis(04-19-21) W 137 - 139
  • New Orleans(03-21-21) L 113 - 108

Last Meetings

  • Spurs @ Nuggets 119-121
  • Spurs @ Nuggets 96-106
  • Nuggets @ Spurs 109-119
  • Nuggets @ Spurs 132-126
  • Spurs @ Nuggets 86-90
  • Nuggets @ Spurs 103-120
  • Spurs @ Nuggets 90-108
  • Nuggets @ Spurs 117-103
  • Nuggets @ Spurs 108-118
  • Spurs @ Nuggets 105-114

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia 76ers3918.684 22-617-12113.4108.4L17-0-3
Brooklyn Nets3919.672 23-716-12119.1114.4L16-0-4
New York Knicks3227.542 19-1013-17106.2104.3L28-0-2
Boston Celtics3127.534 18-1113-16112.4110.4L18-0-2
Toronto Raptors2434.414 14-1510-19112.0111.3L26-0-4
Milwaukee Bucks3522.614 18-1017-12119.3113.2L25-0-5
Indiana Pacers2631.456 9-1717-14113.5114.4L35-0-5
Chicago Bulls2433.421 11-1813-15112.0113.2L55-0-5
Cleveland Cavaliers2037.351 11-169-21103.8111.0L33-0-7
Detroit Pistons1840.310 11-167-24107.6111.3L14-0-6

Western Conference

Utah Jazz4315.741 26-317-12116.9107.7L16-0-4
Denver Nuggets3720.649 20-1017-10115.7110.3L28-0-2
Portland Trail Blazers3224.571 16-1216-12114.3114.7L14-0-6
Oklahoma City Thunder2038.345 9-2011-18105.3114.3L111-0-10
Minnesota Timberwolves1543.259 10-195-24110.2118.1L13-0-7
Phoenix Suns4116.719 23-918-7114.7108.2L18-0-2
Los Angeles Clippers4019.678 23-817-11115.0108.1L18-0-2
Los Angeles Lakers3523.603 17-1318-10109.9106.1L15-0-5
Golden State Warriors2929.500 17-1012-19112.9113.3L16-0-4
Sacramento Kings2334.404 12-1611-18114.3118.6L91-0-9

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks3226.552 16-1116-15113.4111.2L18-0-2
Miami Heat3028.517 17-1313-15106.5107.4L36-0-4
Charlotte Hornets2829.491 14-1214-17110.0111.4L14-0-6
Washington Wizards2433.421 13-1611-17114.0118.1L17-0-3
Orlando Magic1840.310 10-208-20104.2112.0L31-0-9

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks3026.536 13-1417-12111.3110.0L25-0-5
Memphis Grizzlies2927.518 13-1616-11113.8112.2L16-0-4
San Antonio Spurs2828.500 12-1816-10110.6111.1L24-0-6
New Orleans Pelicans2533.431 16-159-18114.7115.4L44-0-6
Houston Rockets1543.259 7-218-22107.9114.9L12-0-8

Last Injuries

Denver Nuggets

  • Monte Morris

    Out indefinitely | out

    Morris is sidelined due to right hamstring tightness, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Jamal Murray

    out for season | out

    Murray suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, and he will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

  • Jamal Murray

    Prob Mon | probable

    Murray has missed the previous four games with a knee injury, but it is likely that he will suit up versus the Warriors on Monday.

  • Gary Harris

    Out Mon | out

    Harris will not be available for Monday's clash with the Spurs as he will be given a day of rest.

  • Gary Harris

    Late April | out

    Harris is out of the lineup with a left thigh injury, and he is expected to be out of commission until the latter part of April.

  • Jamal Murray

    Ques Wed | questionable

    Murray sat out the previous game due to right knee soreness, and it has yet to be established if he will be available versus the Spurs on Wednesday.

  • Paul Millsap

    Out Wed | out

    Millsap will not be in the lineup Wednesday versus the Spurs, as he will be given a day of rest.

San Antonio Spurs

  • DeMar DeRozan

    Out Sat | out

    DeRozan will not take the court to face the Suns on Saturday, as he will receive a day of rest.

  • Patty Mills

    Out Sat | out

    Mills will be given a day of rest, and he will not battle the Suns on Saturday.

  • Jakob Poeltl

    Out Sat | out

    Poeltl will not be in the lineup on Saturday versus the Suns, as he will be given a day of rest.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge

    Ques Fri | questionable

    Aldridge has missed the last two contests due to an illness, and it is unclear if he will suit up for Friday's showdown with the Hornets.

  • Trey Lyles

    Out indefinitely | out

    Lyles will miss an undetermined length of time with a sprained right ankle.

  • Keita Bates-Diop

    Out indefinitely | out

    Bates-Diop will miss an extended period with a right hamstring injury.