The Denver Nuggets (6-3) immediately came to play in tonight’s game, playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Denver, they beat the visiting San Antonio Spurs (5-5) 126-101 to remain undefeated at home. Denver has been on fire in the first quarter of their last 2 games, following the Oklahoma City Thunder game where they put up 42 points in the first they put up 40 again tonight. The Nuggets kept rolling in the second half, the lead never dipped below 15 after halftime. Nikola Jokić checked out in the 3rd quarter and was not needed again. When he left, Bones Hyland caught on fire.
Bones Hyland led all Nuggets with 24 points, 7 assists, and 6 three-pointers in his first game back after missing 2 games with a hip injury. He tied his career-high in assists as well tonight. Nikola Jokić also put up 21 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds all in only 26 minutes. Both Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both had great games as well, Murray finished with 13 points and 9 assists while KCP ended with 12 points, 2 threes, and 4 steals. The Nuggets top to bottom had a fantastic game and will look to carry this energy forward.
The Spurs won the tip-off and Keldon Johnson hits a three to start things off, Murray hits a tough mid-range to kick off things for Denver. Aaron Gordon gets his 27th dunk of the season, placing him 2nd in the NBA in dunks. San Antonio shows off their ball movement on back-to-back possessions early on, the Spurs lead the NBA in assists per game. Both teams started the game off hot, with both teams shooting 6 for 7 before the Spurs call timeout. Jamal Murray opened the game off with 7 points on perfect 3-3 shooting early on. After the timeout, the Nuggets started playing a 2/3 zone. Immediately after the timeout the Nuggets grab 2 steals and go on an 8-0 run, led by Jamal Murray and MPJ.
The Nuggets display some elite ball movement and 3-point shooting of their own and jump out to a 5-point lead. With some subs checking in for both teams, the Nuggets go back to man-to-man defense. While the Spurs adapted their own zone defense. The Spurs offense starts to slow down and Denver keeps up their elite shooting to open the game. Denver’s lead grows to 10 and the Spurs call another timeout. Spurs started 6 for 7 shooting and since they have shot 3 for 9. Denver inflates the lead to as many as 16 behind back-to-back 3’s from MPJ and Bones Hyland. The Nuggets closed the 1st quarter off shooting 71% from three and 76% from the field compared to the Spurs 50% from 3 and 55% from the field. Nuggets up 40-27 after one.
Jeff Green hits back-to-back shots to open the 2nd off and DeAndre Jordan gets a big offensive rebound that leads to a dunk. Denver goes on a 12-4 run without Jokić or Murray to start the 2nd quarter off. The Nuggets drop off from their hot offensive start but were still up by as many as 21 as a result of their defense. After giving up 3 offensive rebounds in 2 minutes, Malone called a timeout and puts Jokić back into the game. Soon after the rest of the starters come back on minus MPJ, Braun stays as the lone bench player. The Spurs get 8 straight points from Devin Vassell and the Spurs go on a 10-0 run. Aaron Gordon ends the Spurs run with a layup and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope gets 2 steals in a row that both lead to dunks. One of the dunks being a driving dunk tomahawk by Nikola Jokić.
Joker continues to amaze us every night pic.twitter.com/x3oqPHCj2I— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 6, 2022
Murray connects with Jokić on a no-look pass under the rim and extends Denver’s lead to a game-high 22. Denver holds the Spurs to 24 points in the quarter while scoring 30 of their own. 70-51 at halftime, Nuggets are up.
The Nuggets first two possessions are turnovers, AG dunks on Jeremy Sochan to start things off for Denver. But, the Spurs get their 3rd layup of the quarter right after and Malone calls timeout with the lead down to 15. The coaching staff is trying to avoid what happened in the 3rd quarter versus the Thunder a few days ago. Jamal Murray picks up his 7th assist of the game, this one again to Jokić. The Nuggets force back-to-back turnovers and capitalize with a three and a mismatch bucket down low, the lead grows from 15 to 25 followed by a Spurs timeout. Nikola Jokić finds MPJ on back-to-back possessions, one for a three and a bullet pass right under the rim.
Talk about threading the needle pic.twitter.com/bnQuzjtfMl— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 6, 2022
Jokić picks up his 10th assist at the 6:54 mark of the 3rd. He comes down and hits a three soon after. The Nuggets defense holds San Antonio to only 4 free throws in 4 minutes of game time, Denver goes on a 17-4 run during this time. Nikola Jokić checks out with 2:29 left in the 3rd with the lead at 26 for Denver. Bones Hyland hits a tough three-pointer and Denver ends the quarter up by 23, 99-76 going into the 4th.
Bones gets the Nuggets going with a drawn charge, a three-pointer, a steal leading to a fast break bucket, and another deep three. Bones has 5 threes on only 6 attempts. The 4th quarter has been the Bones show, following all that happened he throws two fake passes and gets an assist to Bruce Brown, and he follows that up with another assist to Jeff Green and a layup of his own.
We cannot keep up with how many highlights Bizzy is producing pic.twitter.com/MkBW3NYuoZ— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 6, 2022
He is just having too much fun pic.twitter.com/dlRDdR5WPo— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 6, 2022
All baskets but one that Denver scored up to the 5:56 mark of the 4th, Bones Hyland either assisted or scored on. That one basket was an offensive rebound putback by Jordan after a miss by Bruce Brown following a Bones Hyland steal. Bones has completely taken over the game with highlight play after highlight play. Both teams began to slow down as the end of the game approached, but Bones kept pouring it on with Ish Smith being unavailable.
Just going to leave this here pic.twitter.com/ikrGTNTeuS— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 6, 2022
Everybody showed up tonight, this was a fantastic game from not only the top of the roster but also from the bench. Jokić being able to put up a near triple-double while also getting substantial rest in a blowout win is great for the team going forward. Jamal Murray came out after a strong showing against the Thunder and shot a perfect 6-6 to start the game while dishing out 9 assists, showing he is successfully knocking off that rust. The Nuggets finished with a season-high 37 assists and a season-high 60.9% FG shooting. Bones Hyland was an absolute spectacle in the 4th quarter, scoring 11 points and racking up 5 assists as well. There were only 2 baskets scored by Denver in the 4th quarter that Bones did not score or assist on, including one putback after an assist by Bones.