October 21, 2019
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Jokic, Murray help Nuggets beat Spurs 117-103, tie playoff series 2-2

San Antonio, USA, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Serbian center Nikola Jokic, who scored a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds, and Canadian Jamal Murray, who notched up 24 points, shined on Saturday to help the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-103 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first round playoffs.

The away victory helped the Nuggets tie the best-of-seven series 2-2 and also regain the homecourt advantage after having lost their first home game.

The fifth match will be played at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Tuesday.

Forward Torrey Craig, a surprise starter chosen by Nuggets coach Michael Malone, impressed by scoring 18 points and eight defensive rebounds.

Reserve forward Will Barton had 12 points while point guard Monte Morris scored 11 off the bench for Denver.

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, playing his 35th postseason match as a professional, scored 24 points and nine rebounds to lead the Spurs attack, which led the first quarter 34-22 before the Nuggets improved their defense and kept San Antonio point guard Derrick White in check.

Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored 19 points, five rebounds and five assists, was ejected with five minutes remaining after protesting a decision.

The Nuggets came out much more aggressive as compared to Game 3, as planned by Malone, which was key to their victory.

"I liked their energy more tonight, I liked their urgency, I liked the fight. I could tell that the guys were engaged a lot more than in Game 3," Malone said in the postgame interview.

The Nuggets’ defense strategy centered on Murray marking Bryn Forbes while Craig was tasked with stifling White, who had been the winning factor for the Spurs in Game 3, scoring 36 points.

The plan worked and White was restricted to just eight points and 3 of 8 from the field, while Craig himself converted 5 of 7 three-pointers.

This was the Nuggets' first playoff win at San Antonio's AT&T center since Apr. 22, 2007.

They have lost 13 consecutive games at the venue during the regular season.

The Spurs played their 200th playoff game at home and 400th overall, only trailing the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers in postseason experience.

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