San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets: Game 1 Takeaways

Silvia Morton
April 15, 2019

The Rockets boast the NBA's second-rated offense and James Harden has made a case for repeating as MVP.

It might have been his playoff debut with San Antonio, but DeMar DeRozan is no stranger to postseason action.

The Spurs' win marked the third by a road team on the opening day of the National Basketball Association playoffs. They joined the Nets, who won at Philadelphia, and Magic, who won at Toronto. Meanwhile, he committed five turnovers without registering a single assist - something Snyder attributed, in part, more to Mitchell's teammates not making the right read or simply missing open looks, rather than any selfishness on the guard's part. Rudy Gobert is adding 15.9 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest.

They had the ball with 13 seconds left trailing 97-96 but Murray's shot was off - as it was all night - and Aldridge, who shot just 6 of 19 himself, corralled the rebound, then sank two free throws to make it 99-96 with 6.9 seconds remaining. Defensively, Houston is giving up 109.1 points per game while opponents shoot 46.6 percent against them and they hold foes to only 34 percent shooting from 3-point land.

"[Derrick]'s spectacular", said head coach Gregg Popovich. "For somebody who got put in that position and to learn that position with a bunch of new players, it's really remarkable what he's done".

Coach Quin Snyder said after the game that the Jazz's inability to make some small plays wound up enabling Houston to make big ones. Jokic did finish with a triple-double, tallying 14 rebounds and 14 assists, but only notched 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting. The Nuggets must find a way to get Nikola Jokic more involved in the offense before the Spurs double team him. "As much as anything, when we played with some force, we had more success", Snyder said. Eric Gordon had 17, Clint Capela scored 16, Chris Paul added 14 and P.J. Tucker had 11.

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The Spurs came out cold in the second half and the Nuggets pulled to 62-59.

"This is not rocket science", Malone said. The biggest factor, the biggest concern will be the initial couple of minutes and trying to get those nerves out.

Either way, with Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Wednesday night, Snyder is looking for improvement all the way around.

The Nuggets can not afford to lose game 2 and go down 2-0 to a Gregg Popovich team before heading to San Antonio.

"Our energy wasn't where it needed to be", Rockets star James Harden said of the beginning of the third quarter.

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