Nuggets rally, cruise to dominant win against Spurs in Game 4

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

The Denver Nuggets got off to a rough start on Saturday afternoon at the AT&T Center, falling into a 12-point hole early in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Almost instantly, it looked as if the Spurs were going to cruise to a 3-1 series lead.

Yet a big 12-3 run midway through the third quarter, after slowly battling back in the second, put the Nuggets right back in control of the game. By the end of the third they had flipped the script, holding a 12-point lead of their own.

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Denver carried that momentum into the fourth quarter and cruised to a 117-103 win in Game 4, evening up the series 2-2. It also marked its first win in San Antonio in the last 15 attempts, dating back to 2012.

“I just loved how we responded to that first quarter,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “They came out and jumped us ... but we settled down. The guys came off the bench came in and did a great job, and when we put our starters back in the game, they were fantastic. So to win quarters two, three and four on the road ... I’m very proud of our guys.”

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with a near-triple-double, finishing with a postseason career-high 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the win. Jamal Murray finished with 24 points, and Torrey Craig added 18 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 24 points and nine rebounds, shooting 10-of-18 from the field. DeMar DeRozan — who was ejected late in the fourth quarter after picking up an offensive foul and arguing with officials before throwing the ball at one of them — finished with 19 points.

Game 5 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

“Overall, the Nuggets competed and we did not,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Their physicality was obvious from the get go. We knew that was going to happen, and we did not respond. It was a very disappointing loss because I think the Nuggets played harder and smarter than we did. It’s the playoffs. So, to have a performance like that is very, very disappointing.”

The Denver Nuggets rallied in the second half on Saturday to cruise to a win against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4. (AP/Eric Gay)
The Denver Nuggets rallied in the second half on Saturday to cruise to a win against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4. (AP/Eric Gay)

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