The Denver Nuggets had an opportunity to close out the San Antonio Spurs and move onto the Western Conference semifinals with a Game 6 win on Thursday night, but they couldn’t take care of business on the road as the Spurs pulled out a win and pushed the first-round series between the two teams to a decisive Game 7 on Saturday.
The Nuggets got a monster effort from Nikola Jokic, who dropped 43 points, snagged 12 rebounds, and dished out nine assists, but ultimately it wasn’t enough, as Spurs veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 51 points, 17 rebounds, and 12 assists. Rudy Gay provided a big boost off of the bench (19 points) to keep San Antonio’s season alive.
The series between the Spurs and Nuggets is the only first round series to go the distance so far, much to the delight of the Portland Trail Blazers, who will get a couple extra days of rest while they wait to find out who their second round opponent will be.
Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday night’s action.
NBA playoffs scores for Thursday, April 25
- San Antonio Spurs 120, Denver Nuggets 103 (Box Score)
NBA playoffs schedule for Friday, April 26
- Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (GameTracker) — TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
Jokic makes Nuggets history
Nikola Jokic had perhaps the best game of his career in Thursday’s loss to the Spurs, setting a franchise playoff record with 43 points. If that weren’t enough, he added 11 rebounds and nine assists. He was the first Nugget to score 40 or more points in a playoff game since Carmelo Anthony, and it was the highest point total of Jokic’s career, regular season included.
DeRozan beats the buzzer
DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw toward the end of the second quarter, but made up for it by getting his own rebound and throwing in a miraculous shot before the halftime buzzer sounded. DeRozan finished with 25 points on the night.
Aldridge paces Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge got things going early and never slowed down, leading the Spurs with 26 points and 10 rebounds in their Game 6 win.