Jokic ends the Spurs in a dramatic seventh game

The Serbian and Jamal Murray classify some Nuggets that will play against the Blazers. The Spurs were on the verge of coming back 17 points.


For the second consecutive year, the Spurs fall in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The early defeats show that their better times have passed, the stubbornness in returning that they have not gone away altogether. This team always takes everything that is within their reach. It never yields, you always have to bend it. It does not allow an even, it demands the maximum and it falls simply when and because the rival is superior. Eso, and always work based on the virtues of its players, is the key to the Popovich style, which in a season that could perfectly have been the first without playoffs since 1997 has ended producing 48 victories, new talents presented in society by the farm spur (a sketch of the future) and a defeat to the limit in the last minute of the decisive game of a playoff against a superior opponent and without a factor court.

This 90-86 applauds the end of the journey of the Texans and eleva a few Nuggets They have given a tremendous stretch in this qualifier, in which they began entangled in the viscous fabric of Popovich, which escaped with a miraculous triumph in their track to not go to San Antonio 0-2 and with an excellent fourth game that prevented them a 1-3 of ominous appearance. The Nuggets were better, yes, but many thought they would suffer to prove it and that they might not even be able to do it. The first was perfectly true, the second was not. Y are in the second round for the first time since 2009. A decade later and ready to face a Blazers much more rested and at least as happy. It will be the eliminator of which the finalist of the Conference with fewer ballots will be to be champion of the four that survive, surely, but it certainly points to a precious eliminator. Full of basketball.

The Spurs lived until the penultimate possession of a seventh game very seventh game (the two teams below 40% in shots, 8/43 total in triples) even though they failed to meet what seemed like their best trick: hold out a much more inexperienced opponent and feed on their doubts from there. On the contrary, they played an infamous first quarter (23-13) in which Rudy Gay (finished in 21 + 8) saved the furniture with the rest of the team in a 2/18 shot and only two points from the starting line-up, something never seen in the last twenty years of the playoffs. That gave flight to some Nuggets that seemed safe in the second quarter (47-34 at halftime) and in second round in the third (69-52 to 15 minutes from the end) . But they looked 88-86 to 52 seconds at the end, with the audience terrified and the prophets of their disaster rubbing their hands. Jamal Murray stopped the drought with a brave basket in the race and the scoreboard did not move: Craig blocked DeRozan and the Spurs made a mess and did not even need to shoot again. The Nuggets, with a face of not knowing very well what was happening but with an absolutely sincere relief, won and got into the second round.

Nikola Jokic finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. He is the first pivot since Wilt Chamberlain with more than one triple-double in a playoff series and has averaged in the first round of his career 23.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 9.1 assists. Jamal Murray has passed the Cain in many moments but was the hero of the second game and scored the decisive basket in this seventh, which closed with 23 points. His team has won the four in which he has scored at least 20. And so Jokic and Murray, the leaders of these Nuggets, managed to be decisive despite a 0/6 in triples (2/20 your team) and a total 18/45. That's what the playoffs are like, and that's what the seventh games are about: it's about winning. The rest was put by the work of Millsap, Harris and Craig.

The Spurs returned to a game they had lost and scared the public to death, although finally did not tune in the last plays and fell victims of their own limitations. A titanic effort for a team that was lazy at home in Regular Season and scratched a triumph and rondo two others on a track that, altitude through, is usually Comanche territory. Derrick White did not have the day (0/7), Forbes pointed to hero (19 points), Gay played like in the old days and LaMarcus Aldridge (16 points, 16 shots) and DeRozan (19 and 21) proved that they are stars in version yes but no. The guard, without hiding, alternated lime and sand in the last attacks after starting the game with eight failures in a row just after, in short, Kawhi Leonard scored 45 points for the Raptors. His life in the playoffs is still not easy, and it does not help at the moment of truth that neither he nor LaMarcus are good shooters of three, a tremendous relief for the defense of some Nuggets that scared off ghosts, gave a good spurt and raised the end notel of season, whatever happens now with the Blazers. The thing goes And it also does, worse than before but better than many expected, for the Spurs. Although they are already on vacation ...



Photos from as.com

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