NBA Basketball

105
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Antonio 26 33 23 23 105
Denver 21 28 26 39 114
114
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , April 16, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 19,520

No 'panic' for Nuggets before Game 2 vs. Spurs

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Spurs beat the Nuggets in Game 1 in Denver on Saturday, 101-96. It was their first time winning Game 1 of a playoff series on the road since beating the Heat, 92-88, in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
  2. San Antonio has gone 30-7 (.811) in best-of-seven series when winning Game 1, and has won 14 consecutive first-round series when taking Game 1. The last time the Spurs won Game 1 of a first-round series and lost the series was in 1994.
  3. DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 18 points in the Game 1 win. It was the lowest total to lead the Spurs in a playoff win since Patty Mills scored 16 off the bench in a win over the Grizzlies on April 19, 2016.
  4. Nikola Jokic finished Game 1 with 10 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds, becoming the first player with a triple-double in his first career playoff game since LeBron James in 2006. He, Russell Westbrook (2017) and Jason Kidd (2007) are the only players with 14+ rebounds and 14+ assists in a playoff game in the last 30 years.
  5. Jamal Murray shot 8-of-24 (.333) from the field in the Game 1 loss, including 0-for-6 from three. In the regular season, Denver went 21-6 (.778) when Murray shot 50.0 percent or better from the field, compared to 28-20 (.583) when he shot under 50.0 percent.
  6. With the Magic beating the Raptors and the Spurs beating the Nuggets, this is the first time since the NBA playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984 that the No. 7 seed took a 1-0 lead over the No. 2 seed in both conferences.
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Minutes after missing an open shot that could have changed the outcome of his first career playoff game, Jamal Murray climbed the stairs from the Denver Nuggets locker room and started shooting on the practice court.

For about an hour, the young point guard tried to erase the 8-for-23 shooting night in a 101-96 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series.

"I just didn't go into my shot like I normally do," Murray said Monday about his miss. "I rushed it a little bit, so next game I'll calm my shot down a little bit more and be more relaxed. Not be too excited, not be too anxious."

Murray and the Nuggets get their chance Tuesday night at home in Game 2. It's as close to a must-win game for Denver as it can be; a loss drops the No. 2 seed in an 0-2 hole heading back to San Antonio for two games.

"I don't think we're in panic mode. We don't feel like we have to make a whole lot of adjustments," Nuggets guard Will Barton said. "We have to make a few adjustments and we have to make shots."

The veteran Spurs held Denver to 42 percent shooting and led for most of the game. The Nuggets were down five with 2:24 left and had a chance to take the lead, but Murray misfired on an 18-footer with 9.4 seconds left.

After two days of analyzing and breaking down the film, both teams are ready for Game 2.

"They're going to be more aggressive, defensively, offensively, and we've got to be prepared for that," Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. "We've got to be better, we've got expect it. It's going to be even more of a dogfight this time around."

Denver didn't score a point in transition and San Antonio held center Nikola Jokic to 10 points by double-teaming the All-Star center when he was in the low post. Jokic did have 14 rebounds and 14 assists, but he could have had nearly 20 assists if his teammates hit open shots.

"I thought Denver had a lot of great shots that they missed," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Our defense could have been better and we were fortunate they missed some of those shots."

The Nuggets did miss shots, but the Spurs' top scorers weren't doing much better.

DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, and missed 24 of their 36 shot attempts. Bryn Forbes (15 points), Derrick White (16 points) and Rudy Gay (14 points) picked up the slack and shot a combined 19 of 28.

"We lost that game because, yes, we couldn't make shots but you have to give a ton of credit to Forbes, White and Rudy Gay," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

The Nuggets vowed to play better, and the Spurs, a playoff-tested team, are ready for that. They're also not satisfied going home with a split.

"It's not about one game, it's about the series," Aldridge said. "We didn't play great and we got the win."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 16, 2019

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