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The Nuggets fight off the Spurs to end off long road trip

The Nuggets get back to .500 behind a classic performance from Nikola Jokic.

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

The Denver Nuggets get Coach Malone his first regular-season win in San Antonio while coaching the Nuggets, 127-112. Both teams had lineup changes compared to last Thursday’s game, the Spurs started Keldon Johnson and the Nuggets started Devon Reed. This was Reed’s second career start. The Nuggets did not look tired compared to last game and jumped out to an emphatic lead in the second quarter behind a three-point barrage from Markus Howard and Bones Hyland. Nikola Jokic had a fantastic game and finished with 35 points, 17 rebounds, 8 assists, shot 4-6 from three, with a +/- of + 32.

Aaron Gordon had the Nuggets first 5 points after a layup followed by an and-1. Nikola Jokic got a technical foul early after he thought the refs missed a call on an entry pass from Jeff Green. Jokic shot 3-3 on threes in the first quarter, he went to the bench early with 2 quick fouls though. Jokic checked out with the score at 26-22, the Spurs scored 7 straight and lead after the first quarter. 29-28 Spurs.

Markus Howard and Bones Hyland both hit a few tough threes and kept the Nuggets bench in the game. Once Bones had his first three go in he started to get hot. Bones made 3 threes and Markus Howard made 5 of his own just in the second quarter. The Nuggets picked up their second technical foul of the game, JaMychal Green got this one. Markus Howard had a season-high 16 points in the 2nd quarter alone. The Nuggets got the momentum in their favor going up by as many as 16 points in the 2nd. The Nuggets go into halftime up 72-56, behind a last-second 3 from Monte Morris.

Jokic starts the 3rd quarter off by hitting his 4th three of the game and then follows it up by dunking on a great assist from Aaron Gordon. Jokic also picked up a technical foul for hanging on the rim but was not ejected cause it was only an unsportsmanlike technical. The Nuggets went on a 15-1 run to start the second half, they never let up. The lead got up to as many as 30 points for the Nuggets. The Spurs just had no answer for Nikola Jokic, he checks out with 35 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and had a +/- of + 27. The Nuggets played great defense only allowing 18 points in the 3rd quarter, Jokic scored 18 in the 3rd as well. 103-74 in favor of the Nuggets.

JaMychal Green appeared to roll his ankle on a rebound and immediately went to the tunnel, exactly what the Nuggets did not need. The Nuggets suffer another injury as Zeke Nnaji takes a tough fall and hits his head hard on the hardwood. The Spurs go on a 17-7 run as a result. The Nuggets starters minus Devon Reed come back on and put the game back away. Monte Morris hit a huge 3 to break a 4-minute long scoring drought. The Nuggets follow it up with a three from Facu Campazzo and a great pass from Facu leading to another Monte Morris three. The Nuggets break a 15 game regular-season losing streak in San Antonio winning 127-112.

The Nuggets will take on the Washington Wizards in Denver on Monday the 13th. This will be former Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s first time back in Denver since taking a head coaching job in Washington.