Nuggets Budweiser Legendary Moments: Denver edges San Antonio in Game 7 thriller
There were plenty of dramatic wins for the Nuggets in their 2019 postseason run. Their Game 7 win over the Spurs on April 27, 2019, however, might have been a coming-of-age performance for the eighth-youngest playoff team in NBA history.
A year to this date, Denver faced a significant challenge against San Antonio – one of the NBA’s storied franchises. While the Spurs didn’t have the core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, which helped them win five titles, the team still featured legendary coach Gregg Popovich and talented veterans in LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay. It would take a strong all-around performance from Nikola Jokić to overcome the Nuggets’ savvy opponents in the deciding game at Pepsi Center.
Jokić would pour in 21 points to go along with 15 boards and 10 assists, wrapping up an impressive first-ever playoff round appearance for the Serbian. The Nuggets All-NBA center averaged 23.1 points, 12.1 boards, 9.1 assists, 1.3 steals on 48.8 shooting in his first seven postseason games. But Jokić wasn’t alone in sealing the series for Denver.
Jamal Murray would start Game 7 shooting 1 of 6, but similar to his performances throughout the playoffs, he emerged in a big way in crunch time. The point guard dropped 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the third quarter and finished the game with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. Murray joined Jokić as one of several Nuggets to make their playoff debuts against the Spurs and he averaged 19 points and 4.1 assists on 45.5 percent shooting.
The win would secure Denver’s first playoff series win in a decade, an important milestone for Coach Michael Malone and his players. Although the team would ultimately lose in the following round to the Trail Blazers in another challenging seven-game series, their poise displayed against the Spurs in Game 7 would carryover throughout the playoffs and the next season. For example, Denver currently has a 26-14 record in games with clutch situations, which are games that have a five-point differential and are decided within the final five minutes. That is second in the NBA.
Here are highlights from a memorable Game 7: