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Nuggets 110-105 Spurs (April 2, 2024) Match Summary

Nuggets 110-105 Spurs (April 2, 2024) Match Summary

DENVER — Chalk it up to Nikola Jokic after Victor Wembanyama came within striking distance of besting the player who will soon hope to capture his third MVP award.

Jokic scored 42 points and outscored Rookie of the Year in Denver's 110-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night to reclaim first place in the West.

Jokic also grabbed 16 rebounds and provided six assists. Wembanyama scored 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and nine blocks. Three of Jokic's baskets came on rare dunks, something he said he had to do against the hot rookie.

“He had like 600 blocks tonight, but we got the win,” Jokic said after Denver's win over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Nuggets (53-23) led in the first half over Oklahoma City, which lost 109-105 to Philadelphia earlier Tuesday night. The Minnesota Timberwolves (52-23) continued to keep pace with Oklahoma City by defeating Houston 113-106.

Jokic's hook shot broke a 103-103 tie but Wimbanyama's layup at the other end put it back at it with a minute to go.

Michael Porter Jr., who had 15 points and a game-best 16 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give Denver a 108-105 lead and Wembanyama missed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left, but the Spurs got burned 10 seconds before Wembanyama. Jokic, who sank both free throws with 8 seconds left, missed.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he couldn't be happier with the way Wimpanyama led his team to a close upset of the defending NBA champions despite the absence of several key players injured.

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“It's one of the most competitive games I've been involved in for many years,” Popovich said. “For 48 minutes, under tough conditions, these guys just played… The effort they put in for 48 minutes was really outstanding, the best I've seen all year. As I've said (for) several years, losing sucks, but seeing how far they've come This season is really fun.

Wembanyama was exhausted after trying to keep up with Jokic and logged a grueling 34 minutes in the thin air in Denver.

“The match against Jokic is very difficult,” Wembanyama said, adding that the rise “was just one difficulty among others. We have to adapt to this just as we have to adapt to a lot of other factors.”

Like Jokic, who took 18 shots, twice as many as Wimpanyama did.

Even with the Spurs without Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson, all of whom are suffering from foot injuries, San Antonio had no easy time against the Nuggets, who were without point guard Jamal Murray (knee) for the sixth straight game.

Tottenham got a number of goals from seven players, including Malky Branham, who scored 24 goals.

The Nuggets had trouble overcoming a nervous Spurs, holding a one-point lead at halftime and the fourth quarter before Denver's reserves took an 11-2 run early in the fourth quarter while Jokic was catching his usual breath on the bench.

Jokic came back with Denver leading 99-92 but Trey Jones, who had his third career triple-double (10 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists), and Sandro Mamukelashvili extended the lead again, sealing a thrilling win. It ended with Jokic and Wembanyama continuing it until the end.

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Popovich, for example, is looking forward to more Wimpy vs. Joker bouts, starting with a rematch in San Antonio on April 12.

“Victor got a lot of respect tonight because Nikola is the best,” Popovich said. “For Victor to want to guard him and learn, it was a real testament to how good he wanted to be. Confronting Nicola, as I said, shows a lot. “He's learning every minute.”

the next

Spurs: At New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Nuggets: At Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

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ABNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA