The Denver Nuggets came into the day with everything to play for and the bottom dweller San Antonio Spurs as their opponent. Despite the vast disparity in overall record, Victor Wembanyama was not going to let Denver get an easy one in The Alamo. He put up a massive third quarter to erase a huge Denver lead and kept San Antonio in the game all the way down to the final moments before his teammates finished the job. The Nuggets got a huge night from Jamal Murray on their end and Nikola Jokic had another classic Jokic type night but it wasn’t enough as Denver crumbles late and takes the worst loss of the season. Spurs win 121-120.

Denver started the game not playing a ton of defense while Jokic went to work on the offensive end. Outside of him though the rest of the team wasn’t getting quality shots which allowed the Spurs to keep the game close. Wembanyama started becoming a facilitator on the Nuggets and that worked well. Murray got Denver back on track with some threes and the Nuggets got the lead back with just over four minutes to go in the quarter. The Spurs were knocking down threes as well though so the game remained tight. That remained the case as the quarter came to a close with Wemby continuing to be a thorn in Denver’s side. After one quarter the Spurs led 32-31.

Denver was a little more focused defensively to start the second quarter and they quickly got the lead back. The bench was in and they got out and started running as well which translated to some easy points. It was a strong shift for the all bench unit and they outscored the Spurs for the first five minutes of the quarter but they started to stall out a bit after that so Michael Malone called a timeout to get his starters back in. That restored order while the Spurs went cold and the Nuggets were finally able to grow their lead. They ripped off a 10-0 run to get up by double digits. The lead kept growing with the half winding down. Murray continued his dominance to close the quarter and at halftime Denver was up 68-50.

Denver started bombing threes to open the second half and pushed the lead up above twenty forcing Gregg Popovich to take an early timeout. That cooled off Denver for a moment but they were still able to maintain a twenty point margin. Wembanyama got going again though and started to chip away at the lead. He went on a run on his own to get the game back within a dozen while the Nuggets were starting to look sluggish. Wemby got unconscious from three and pulled the Spurs within single digits around the halfway mark of the quarter. Meanwhile Denver flat out couldn’t hit a three but continued to shoot them anyways. Malone called another angry timeout and the Nuggets finally got things back under control. They went on a run to close out the third and got back up by double digits. Denver headed into the fourth up 100-87.

The bench once again opened a quarter with stifling defense, highlighting the early minutes with a Peyton Watson steal and breakaway reverse jam. They stalled out just like they did in the second quarter though. Zeke Nnaji continued to be afraid of rebounds and the rest of the bench unit got addicted to fouling. The Spurs got the lead back down to eight with about eight minutes to go and the starters quickly started checking back into the game. The momentum was all on San Antonio’s side and despite Jokic and Murray being in the game Denver was now getting killed by…checks notes…Sandro Mamukelashvili. Murray was trying to will Denver to the win but San Antonio wasn’t going away down the stretch with Denver playing matador defense. With two minutes to go the lead was just one point. That was still the case with thirty seconds left to go as Denver refused to attempt to stop Devonte Graham from driving the lane. Jokic missed a free throw line jumper and Graham walked straight to the basket like he did all fourth quarter to hit a floater with one second left. Denver failed to inbound the ball, got called for a five second penalty and lost the game 121-120.

Best matchup: Victor Wembanyama vs everyone

Apr 12, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) reacts after official John Goble (10) called a technical foul during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Frost Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

You have to feel for Victor and the season that he’s gone through. The guy is already a top 20 player in the NBA and yet the Spurs were once again a bottom dweller. There was very little talent around him to start the season and once the injuries set in it’s been a one man show. He darn near brought the Spurs back in this game all by himself in the third quarter. You can’t count on the support he got tonight on a regular basis from guys like Graham and Mamukelashvili but it goes to show that it doesn’t take much help for this team to be competitive against anyone with Wemby on the court. Give it a couple seasons for the Spurs to build a complete roster around this guy and San Antonio will once again be a perennial playoff team if not title contender.


That was a complete embarrassment of a second half from Denver on all fronts. On offense they decided to keep jacking threes instead of trying to get to the rim, on defense they refused to box anyone out or put effort towards getting a rebound while also providing a free lane to any Spurs player, fan or mascot who wanted a layup. On the coaching end Malone watched his team get a five second violation on the final possession with a timeout still in his pocket. Terrible showing from Denver and you really hope it doesn’t come back to bite them but with the stakes as high as they were with this game it absolutely could. If nothing else this loss costing Denver the one seed feels almost a guarantee.

Shout out to Tiddy for the Thing to Bet

First and foremost, shout out to all of our guest writers this week. We hit a snag in the writers schedule and The Pleas, ParkHillNative & ThrowItDownBigManThrowItDown stepped up. I can’t say enough about how appreciative I am to all four of you. Also though give a special shout out to ThrowItDown for calling the over on 0.5 Jokic dunks which he cashed about three minutes into the game.