April 26, 2019 / 2:50 AM / a month ago

Spurs pull away from Nuggets to force Game 7

EditorsNote: 5th graf, change Patty Mills to Forbes as having 12 points; 9th graf, change offense to offensive; 10 graf to fix typos

Apr 25, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; A general view of the sneakers worn by Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray (27) prior to a game six of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 25 points as the San Antonio Spurs were at their best late in a 120-103 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Thursday to capture Game 6 and even their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

The deciding Game 7 in the series will be Saturday in Denver, where the second-seeded Nuggets had the best home record in the NBA in the regular season and have won two of the three games in the current set.

San Antonio, the seventh seed in the West, led by five points to begin the fourth quarter but scored the first eight points of the period to build its advantage to 98-85.

A 32-foot 3-pointer by Bryn Forbes as the shot clock ran down with 7:28 to play capped a 15-2 run and pushed the Spurs’ margin to 105-87, and Denver never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

Rudy Gay added 19 points for the Spurs. Derrick White and Forbes scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, for San Antonio.

Nikola Jokic scored 43 points to set a Nuggets’ franchise playoff record in the loss. The total was a career high for the Serbian, including the regular season and the postseason.

Jokic also grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded nine assists. Jamal Murray tallied 16 points for Denver, with Gary Harris hitting for 14 and Paul Millsap contributing 12 points.

Denver weathered the Spurs’ early momentum and came back in the second quarter to take a brief 50-47 lead on a floater by Murray with 3:52 to play.

San Antonio re-tied the game with a 3-pointer by Gay on the ensuing possession and finished the half with a flurry. DeRozan made a free throw, then outfought the Nuggets in the lane for an offensive rebound and put-back that granted the Spurs a 64-60 advantage at intermission.

Aldridge scored 18 points in the half to lead the Spurs, with Gay adding 14 over the first two periods. Jokic was all but unstoppable in the first half, scoring 18 points, taking eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists in 19 minutes of court time.

—Field Level Media

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