Spurs topple Nuggets 123-111, snapping two-game skid

Dec 9, 2021, 5:58 AM | Updated: Dec 10, 2021, 5:57 am

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic (15) collides with San Antonio Spurs' Lonnie Walker IV during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

(15)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Derrick White had 23 points, Lonnie Walker IV added 21 and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in beating the Denver Nuggets 123-111 on Thursday night, snapping a two-game skid.

Dejounte Murray added 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for San Antonio, which is in the middle of a five-game homestand.

“It was a good, competitive night,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “A lot of guys played well. We had one little period where we got a little sloppy, three or four turnovers, five or six possessions, there for a short period of time, but the defense held up and that allowed us to continue to play well.

“Turnovers at one end and not playing would have been a bad combo, but we avoided that.”

Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his third straight triple-double and his fifth of the season for Denver.

The Nuggets entered the game third in the league defensively, limiting opponents to 104.5 points per game, but had no answers for the Spurs.

“It was unofficially double-digit blow bys for probably 20-plus points,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “Just sitting down guarding, whether it was Dejounte Murray, Derrick White (and) Lonnie Walker off the bench was a real difference maker in this game attacking us. Then when a guy got beat, there was no shrink, there was no help behind it. It was layup after layup.”

Walker finished 7 for 12 from the field, including 3 for 5 on 3-pointers.

“I just have to have that mindset of being aggressive,” Walker said.

San Antonio dominated, scoring 45 points on 3-pointers and 58 in the paint. San Antonio also had 32 assists, two shy of matching a season-high, while shooting 52% from the field.

Denver closes a seven-game trip Saturday in San Antonio.

The Nuggets pulled within two baskets on several occasions but never led while trailing by as many as 18 points.

“They had us on our heels,” Malone said. “Man, that’s the worst feeling in the world. We made a couple of runs to try to get back in the game a little bit, but we just couldn’t sustain anything.”

Aaron Gordon added 25 points and Will Barton had 19 for the Nuggets, who are continuing to battle injuries this season.

P.J. Dozier and Michael Porter Jr. are both out for the season and Jamal Murray is out indefinitely following knee surgery. Denver, which was 3-7 in its previous 10 games, was also without Austin Rivers due to health and safety protocols.

San Antonio opened the game 4 for 5 on 3-pointers in building a 22-12 lead. The Spurs set a season high with 37 points in taking an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

Jokic had 13 points in the second quarter, rallying Denver within 69-65 before San Antonio scored five straight to close the half. The Spurs set a season high for any half with 74 points in the first and matched another high with 37 points in the second quarter.

“I thought we did as good a job as we could possibly do on Jokic,” Popovich said. “He’s amazing.”

The Spurs were without starting forward Keldon Johnson due a sprained right ankle, but Devin Vassell returned from a three-game absence.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver is 3-3 on its longest trip of the season. … Rivers missed his fifth straight while in the league’s health and safety protocols. He has played 18 games this season, averaging 3.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 17.5 minutes. … Jokic had 32 points in the Nuggets’ 102-96 victory over the Spurs on Oct. 23.

Spurs: Johnson sprained his right ankle stepping on Poeltl’s foot late in the first half Tuesday against New York. Popovich said Johnson would not be available Saturday against Denver and is uncertain when he would return. … Murray became the fastest player in franchise history with 3,000 points, 1,500 rebounds and 1,000 assists, doing so in his 276th career game. … Bryn Forbes has 458 career 3-pointers with the Spurs, moving him past Chuck Person for 10th in franchise history.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At San Antonio on Saturday.

Spurs: Host Denver on Saturday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is running for a second term, speaks during a campaign rall...
Associated Press

Brazil’s Bolsonaro enlists Neymar on campaign stop

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro enlisted the help of soccer star Neymar on a campaign stop Wednesday, just four days before the country’s general elections. Bolsonaro visited a non-profit youth institute set up by Neymar in the city of Praia Grande and took a call from the Paris Saint-Germain player, who thanked […]
15 hours ago
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, right, celebrates with defensive back Garrett Williams after defea...
Associated Press

Third-and-How? ACC top teams up their third-down success

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Few things cause more anxiety in football than third down. Convert, and your offense gains momentum. Fail, and it’s a stressful wait until you get the ball again. So far, the top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including its four undefeateds in No. 5 Clemson, No. 10 North Carolina State, […]
15 hours ago
Honey bees are swept from an upright at the beginning of the NFL football game between the Tampa Ba...
Associated Press

Displaced Bucs avoid Ian, begin preparation to face Chiefs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who moved their football operations to South Florida to avoid Hurricane Ian, remain hopeful of being able to return home to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The team practiced at the Miami Dolphins’ training facility on Wednesday, describing the experience as different, but insisting the disruption to their […]
15 hours ago
Oneil Cruz de los Piratas de Pittsburgh batea un doble ante los Rojos de Cincinnati, el miércoles ...
Associated Press

Newman’s single in 10th gives Pirates win and sweep of Reds

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Newman hit a winning single in the 10th inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates rebounded from a blown three-run lead in the ninth to beat Cincinnati 4-3 on Wednesday and send the Reds to their 96th loss, their most since 2015. Kyle Farmer hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Chase […]
15 hours ago
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman tosses beer to fans on the 18th green during the final round of the LIV Go...
Associated Press

Report: LIV Golf nearing deal to buy TV time on FS1

Golfweek is reporting that Saudi-funded LIV Golf, without a U.S. television deal during its inaugural season, is close to an agreement to buy time on FS1. Golfweek cited multiple sources it did not identify in saying the agreement is still being finalized. It would go against what Greg Norman, the CEO and commissioner of LIV […]
2 days ago
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy throws against Maryland in the second half of an NCAA college fo...
Associated Press

College Football Picks: Michigan, Washington hit the road

For a few ranked teams, the first month of the season was all about home sweet home. No. 4 Michigan (4-0), No. 9 Oklahoma State (3-0) and No. 15 Washington (4-0) will play their first road games of the season this weekend. The Cowboys have a big one in the Big 12 against No. 16 […]
2 days ago
Spurs topple Nuggets 123-111, snapping two-game skid