Denver Nuggets vs San Antonio Spurs

After falling short in a tough road environment, the Denver Nuggets have another shot to get themselves back into this series, as they take on the San Antonio Spurs in the Alamo City. The game will be broadcast on TNT on Saturday, April 20th at 5:30 pm from AT&T Arena.

How to Watch

Where: AT&T Arena in San Antonio, TX, USA.

When: Saturday, April 20th at 5:30pm EST.

How (TV): TNT

Denver Nuggets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time: 212-222 | SAC, DEN}

Season Record: 54-28

Projected Starting Five: (G) Gary Harris - (G) Jamal Murray - (G) Will Barton - (F) Paul Millsap - (C) Nikola Jokic

Top Performers

  • C Nikola Jokic - 20.1 PPG | 10.8 RPG | 7.3 APG
  • G Jamal Murray - 18.2 PPG | 4.8 APG | .367 3P%
  • G Gary Harris - 12.9 PPG | .339 3P% | .799 FT%

After splitting their home games in the first two games of the series, Denver's first visit to San Antonio did not go as planned, falling 118-108 on Thursday night. Nikola Jokic was Denver's top scorer with 22 points while adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Malik Beasley added 20 points and nine boards off the bench, hitting five of his six attempts from long range.

The Nuggets lost despite shooting 51.9% from the field and sharing the ball on offense, with three different players tallying seven assists in this game.

Jamal Murray turned out to be a difference maker for the wrong reasons, scoring just six points on as many shot attempts, while committing four turnovers. More importantly, he allowed San Antonio's Derrick White to get to the rim with relative ease on the defensive end.

San Antonio Spurs (Home)

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich {All-Time: 1245-575 | SAS}

Season Record: 48-34

Projected Starting Five: (G) Bryn Forbes - (G) Derrick White - (G) DeMar DeRozan - (F) LaMarcus Aldridge - (C) Jakob Poeltl

Top Performers

  • F LaMarcus Aldridge - 21.3 PPG | 9.2 RPG | 1.3 BPG
  • G DeMar DeRozan - 21.2 PPG | 6.0 RPG | 6.2 APG
  • F Rudy Gay - 13.7 PPG | 6.8 RPG | .402 3P%

The San Antonio Spurs are proving that they are far from finished as a playoff contender, as they have pushed the second-seeded Nuggets throughout this series. Thursday's win over Denver was fuelled by their breakout point guard Derrick White, who went off for 36 points.

DeMar DeRozan added to White's scoring output with 25 points of his own while the team's All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.

A team that prides itself on discipline, the Spurs made coach Gregg Popovich proud in this game by coughing up the ball just six times, while forcing the Nuggets into 13 turnovers.

What's At Stake?

The Nuggets will look to end their history of winning just one game or less in a series against San Antonio. The last time the Nuggets won two or more against the Spurs were in the first round of the 1985 playoffs when Denver eliminated San Antonio in a five-game series.

The Spurs will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead, which they have never blown in the first round. Even with a loss, San Antonio has little reason to fret, as they have only lost one series since 2010 where they were tied at 2-2 after four games. That loss came in 2015 against the Los Angeles Clippers, a year after they won the NBA championship.

Malik Beasley Has Risen to the Occasion

Like many of his teammates, Malik Beasley is experiencing his first postseason as an NBA pro. He has shown no signs of the yips, however, as he is averaging 12.7 points per game off the bench. With Jamal Murray going through some growing pains in this series, Beasley has managed to serve as Denver's hedge against these struggles in order to give his team a chance against a well-prepared team in San Antonio.

Derrick White Has Come Out of Nowhere

After a rookie season where he played just 17 games, all off the bench, Derrick White upped his game to become San Antonio's starting point guard to fill in for the injured Dejounte Murray. The former Colorado Buffalo benefitted greatly from his time in the G-League with the Austin Spurs.

With a coach in Gregg Popovich, who has taken G-League talents and molded them into NBA worthy commodities, White has used that same coaching to become the engine that keeps San Antonio running smoothly, regardless of the opponent.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

F Michael Porter - 21 Mar 2019 - Out (Back) - Porter Jr. has been participating in light contact 3-on-3 drills in practice, but is still a long shot to return this year according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.

San Antonio Spurs Roster Notes

G Dejounte Murray - 13 Mar 2019 - Out For Season (Knee) - Murray is making progress and is practicing on his own, but he's not expected to play this season, according to Jeff Garcia of FOXSanAntonio.com. He had ACL surgery on his knee before the season started.

X-Factors: Jamal Murray (DEN) vs DeMar DeRozan (SAS)

The matchup to focus on in game four will be between the secondary scoring options for each team. Although both players are capable of lighting up the scoreboard, they are by no means chuckers, as they are willing passers when a better shot can be taken by one of their teammates. Denver's up and coming star, Jamal Murray will take on a four-time All-Star in DeMar DeRozan.

Jamal Murray

Point Guard/Shooting Guard | 6-4, 207lb (193cm, 93kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 2 Years

18.2 PPG | 4.8 APG | 4.2 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .437 FG% | .367 3P%

So far in this playoff series, Jamal Murray has had a solid game two performance sandwiched between two forgettable outings. Normally a solid three-point shooter, the young Canadian has struggled this series from deep, hitting just four of his 14 attempts.

Although the sample size is limited, Murray has shot well against San Antonio in 11 regular season games during his career, hitting his threes at a 37.5% clip while averaging 15.1 points per game. Based on his history against the Spurs, Murray is bound to improve his shooting stroke and regain confidence.

DeMar DeRozan

Shooting Guard | 6-7, 220lb (201cm, 99kg) | USC | Exp. 9 Years

21.2 PPG | 6.2 APG | 5.3 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .481 FG% | .156 3P%

Although it has only been three games, DeMar DeRozan has put up the best playoff scoring average of his career at 24.7 points per game. This is despite the fact that he has only attempted one three-point shot in the series, as coach Popovich is asking the former Raptor to focus on attacking the rim.

With San Antonio already possessing a solid array of three-point threats, this strategy makes perfect sense and has paid off, as driving lanes have become more plentiful for DeRozan. With these lanes becoming available, DeRozan has attained a career high in assists, thanks to defenses collapsing and leaving San Antonio's shooters open.

Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs Predictions and Odds

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the Nuggets vs Spurs match, at one of these sportsbooks:

Sportsbook Denver Nuggets San Antonio Spurs Link
888Sport NJ +140 -167
BetStars NJ +145 -167

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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