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Recap: Denver Nuggets complete comeback against San Antonio Spurs

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San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After trading misses to start the game, LaMarcus Aldridge was fouled on a 3-point shot and nailed all of the free throws to get it the scoring underway. Denver was unable to match, and, former Nugget, Trey Lyles, nailed a 3-point shot to extend the lead to six. Denver’s next possession ended with a shot-clock violation as their offense was struggling to get clicking. With 2:15 on the clock, Aldridge nailed a mid-range jumper that gave them an 8-0 lead.

Denver got a 3-point shot to fall, but Aldridge got it right back with a 3-point shot of his own before Torrey Craig nailed a 3-point shot to continue the barrage. After Jokic committed a turnover, he fouled in transition which led to a dead-ball timeout. The Spurs got a bucket out of the timeout, but Jerami Grant was able to get it right back at the rim. Following the make by Grant, Aldridge got another basket to fall. After a miss by Denver, Dejounte Murray nailed a 3-point shot to go up by 11 which forced Michael Malone to call a timeout.

Following the timeout, Denver found Grant for a 3-point shot that cut the deficit back to single digits. After misses by each team, Lonnie Walker got right to the rim for the Spurs, but Jamal Murray hit Craig for an open 3-point shot. The Spurs got it right back thanks to a bucket by Bryn Forbes. After a miss by Grant, Jokic got the tip-in at the basket to go, but he gave up an easy make to Aldridge on the other end.

Down by 10, P.J. Dozier was able to get a 3-point bucket which forced the Spurs to call a timeout. After a quick make by the Spurs, Monte Morris got right to the rim, but Patty Mills nailed an immediate 3-point shot to fall that gave them a 10-point lead. After a miss by Aldridge, Morris got to the cup again, but San Antonio was keeping them at bay with frequent answers.

Off the bench, Paul Millsap got a 3-point shot to fall, and he forced a miss out of Aldridge before giving up an offensive rebound and put-back dunk which gave him 17 in the first quarter. Following a scramble for the ball, Derrick White nailed an open 3-point shot that gave them a 38-26 lead and forced another Denver timeout. Keita Bates-Diop made his Nuggets debut with 1:00 remaining, and he immediately got a layup following a steal by Millsap before Denver gave up another easy basket.

Morris got a short jump shot to fall with under 10 seconds remaining that brought them within 10, but they were still down 40-30 at the end of the quarter. To start the second quarter, Mills picked up right where they left off with another 3-point bomb. Millsap answered with a jumper from the free-throw line, but Rudy Gay bullied his way into the paint before drawing a foul.

After Gay nailed both free throws, McRae missed a contested 3-point shot before Gay went right to the basket to give the Spurs a 15-point lead. Down by 14, Morris got a 3-point shot to fall to give them some life. The two sides traded misses before Dozier fouled White on a drive to the rim, and he was able to nail both free throws. The two sides traded turnovers before Mills got all the way to the basket which gave them 15-point lead. McRae got his first bucket as a Nugget to fall with a 3-point shot.

Following a miss by White, Millsap went at Jakob Poetl and drew a foul to send himself to the line, but he went just 1-of-2 at the line. Down by 11, following a miss by the Spurs, Grant nailed a straightaway 3-point shot that forced a timeout out of San Antonio with under eight minutes remaining. Gay nailed a 3-point shot out of the timeout for the Spurs, and Jokic was unable to get his floater to fall in the paint.

Denver was struggling to get their shot to fall, and the Spurs took advantage by getting their lead back to 15. Following a turnover by the Nuggets, Dejounte Murray took the ball right to basket and forced Denver to call another timeout down by 17. Murray missed a tough layup following the timeout, but Jokic was able to draw a shooting foul after a miss by the Spurs. He went just 1-of-2 at the line, and the Spurs were still on a 9-1 run over a three minute stretch.

Jokic was able to draw the third foul on Aldridge which forced Poetl into the game, who immediately fouled Craig on a screen which sent him to the line where he went perfect. Up by 14, Walker turned the ball over when he stepped out of bounds and the Nuggets were gaining some momentum. Jokic nailed a pair of free throws that brought them within 12. After the two sides traded misses, Craig saved a possession with a big offensive rebound, but they couldn’t convert into points.

Following the miss, Poetl nailed a short floater which Denver quickly answered. The Spurs were able to draw a goaltending call out of Grant that put them up by 14, but Jokic got another basket to fall. With 1:10 remaining, Denver inbounded the ball, and Murray had a wide open 3-point shot that he passed up and traveled on the way to the rim. Dejounte was fouled by Craig on a 3-point shot, but Murray was called for a technical foul when he flailed his arms out to hit Craig in the face.

Murray nailed the technical free throw that brought them within 11, but Dejounte made all three of his free throws. With 30.5 remaining, Denver brought the ball up the floor, but Jokic was called for an offensive foul down on the block. White missed a jumper with the clock expiring, and Denver went into the half trailing by 14 with a score of 67-53.

Following the halftime break, San Antonio picked up right where they left off with a mid-range jumper by Aldridge. After a make by Murray, Walker got a bucket to go through a foul, but he wasn’t able to make the free throw. Murray then got rejected by the rim before the Spurs nailed a 3-point shot to go up by 19 and force Denver to call a timeout.

Harris got a floater to fall before San Antonio immediately matched it. Murray got a floater of his own to fall, but Aldridge nailed a 3-point shot that gave them a 20-point lead. After a miss by Murray, Jokic got the offensive rebound and layup to fall. The two sides traded misses before Lyles hit Aldridge for an easy transition basket that Murray answered with a layup following a great pass by Jokic.

After a 3-point make by Lyles, Murray got a fadeaway jumper to fall, but they just weren’t cutting into the lead. Murray nailed a technical free throw that brought them within 20, and Jokic followed it up with a jump shot of his own. However, they were still down by 18 with under 6:00 in the third quarter. After trading misses, McRae fouled White which sent him to the line where he made both free throws. After a miss by Morris, Millsap got the offensive rebound and fed Jokic for another make. Aldridge turned the ball over and Denver immediately pushed the ball.

Dozier was at the line where he went 1-of-2 to bring them within 17. Following a miss by White, Millsap put a clinic on against Aldridge that got him a basket, but the Spurs followed it up with a 3-point shot by Mills. On the other end, Millsap was fouled on a layup attempt that he converted, and he made the free throw. After a couple of makes got them within 13, Morris got a jump shot to fall that brought them within 11.

White nailed a pair of free throws that gave them a 13-point lead, but McRae got a rolling 3-point shot to fall that had them within 10. Following a miss by Marco Bellinelli, Millsap nailed another 3-point shot to bring them within seven with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Denver forced a turnover on Aldridge and pushed the ball in transition where Morris pulled up for a deep 3-point shot that he hit with the clock expiring to make it a four point game heading to quarter four.

Coming out of the quarter break, Denver nailed another 3-point shot that brought them within one point before Poetl made a layup on the other end. Down by three, Murray made a 3-point shot to tie the game for the first time in a long time, but Gay made a 3-point shot of his own to regain the lead. Dozier got an elbow jumper to fall, and Denver was keeping the game close. The two sides missed wide-open layups, and the Spurs were given a technical free throw courtesy of McRae being in the lane too long.

With a head of steam, Millsap got a bucket to go that tied the game at 99 before nailing a 3-point shot that gave them their first lead of the night after being down by as many as 23. Despite a good contest by Millsap, Aldridge made his fourth 3-point shot of the night which tied the game at 102 with 8:30 remaining. After a miss by Morris, Aldridge got a jumper to fall. Denver was unable to answer before the Spurs made another 3-point shot that gave them a lead of five and forced a Denver timeout.

After the timeout, Murray got a tough shot to fall, and, on the other end, Craig got a huge block on Dejounte despite being hit with a hard screen. Despite great defense by Grant, Aldridge got another jump shot to fall which gave him 31, but Murray answered with a jumper of his own to keep them within three. After Aldridge missed a pair of free throws, Murray got another bucket that had them within one. After a block on Aldridge went out of bounds off of the Spurs, Murray cooked Aldridge on offense that gave them a one-point lead with less than five to go.

Gary Harris hit his second 3-point shot of the night gave them a four-point lead with 4:15 remaining in the final quarter. On the defensive end, Jokic forced a jump ball on Dejounte, and he won it which led to a miss by Grant. Murray was unable to get a 3-point shot to fall, but, after Craig got the offensive rebound and missed the shot, Jokic got another board and hit Craig for a 3-point shot that gave them a seven-point lead.

After a miss by the Spurs, Jamal Murray nailed another 3-point shot, and the Nuggets had extended their lead to 10 with 2:32 remaining. A jump ball went the way of the Spurs, and they converted two straight makes that brought them within six before Jokic got another basket to fall. White made a pair of free throws that brought them within six with a minute remaining. With under four seconds left on the shot clock, Jokic was able to draw a foul on Aldridge, and he got them both to fall. After a make by the Spurs, Denver had gotten into must-foul territory for San Antonio which sent Jokic to the line for a pair where he made both.

Forbes was able to draw a foul on a 3-point shot on Harris on the other end, and he got them all to fall. Morris was fouled immediately, and he got both of his shots to fall that gave them a seven-point lead. Jokic was able to get a rebound off of a White 3-point attempt, and the game was sealed after an outstanding comeback.

Stat Leaders

Points: Jamal Murray - 26

Assists: Nikola Jokic - 13

Rebounds: Jokic - 8

Player of the Game: Paul Millsap 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 8-of-13 field goals, 4-of-5 3-point, +14