Nuggets 110-105 Spurs (April 2, 2024) Game Summary | Top Vip News

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DENVER – – Chalk this up to Nikola Jokic after Victor Wembanyama nearly outdueled the player hoping to soon earn his third MVP award.

Jokic scored 42 points and edged out the Rookie of the Year favorite in Denver’s 110-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night to retake sole possession of first place in the West.

Jokic also grabbed 16 rebounds and had six assists. Wembanyama scored 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and nine blocks. Three of Jokic’s baskets came on awkward dunks, something he said he had to deal with against the rookie sensation.

“He made like 600 blocks tonight, but we got the win,” Jokic said after Denver passed Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference playoff race.

The Nuggets (53-23) took a half-game lead over Oklahoma City, which lost 109-105 in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The Minnesota Timberwolves (52-23) kept pace with Oklahoma City when they beat Houston 113-106.

A hook shot by Jokic broke the 103-103 tie, but a layup by Wembanyama at the other end tied the game again with a minute left.

Michael Porter Jr., who had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to put Denver up 108-105 and Wembanyama missed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left, but the Spurs burned 10 seconds early. of Wembanyama. He fouled Jokic, who made both free throws with 8 seconds left.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he couldn’t be happier with the way Wembanyama led his team to a near upset of the defending NBA champions despite losing several injured starters.

“That’s one of the most competitive games I’ve been in in many years,” Popovich said. “For 48 minutes, in difficult circumstances, these guys just played… the effort for 48 minutes was really impressive, the best I’ve seen all year. And like I’ve said (for) several years, losing sucks, but seeing how far they’ve come this season is really a joy.”

Wembanyama was exhausted after trying to keep up with Jokic and logging a difficult 34 minutes in Denver air.

“It’s very demanding” facing Jokic, Wembanyama said, adding that the altitude was “just one difficulty among others. We have to adapt to this like we have to adapt to many other factors.”

Like Jokic took 18 shots, double that of Wembanyama.

Even with the Spurs missing Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson, all with foot injuries, San Antonio wasn’t easy for the Nuggets, who were without point guard Jamal Murray (knee) for the sixth straight game.

The Spurs got double-digit scores from seven players, including Malaki Branham, who scored 24.

The Nuggets had a tough time disposing of the struggling Spurs, taking a one-point lead into both halftime and the fourth quarter before Denver’s reserves used an 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter as Jokic took his usual respite on the bench.

Jokic returned with Denver ahead 99-92, but consecutive triples by Tre Jones, who achieved the third triple-double of his career (10 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists), and Sandro Mamukelashvili once again squeezed the ball, setting up a game exciting. It ends with Jokic and Wembanyama fighting until the end.

Popovich, for his part, is looking forward to more matchups between Wemby and Joker, starting with a rematch in San Antonio on April 12.

“Well, sure. “Victor earned a lot of respect tonight because Nikola is the best,” Popovich said. “That Victor wanted to protect him and learn was a true testament to how good he wants to be. Going up against Nikola, like I said, shows a lot. And he is learning minute by minute.”

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Spurs: Against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Nuggets: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

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NBA AP:

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