The Denver Nuggets came into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, but they are in big trouble. The San Antonio Spurs have a 2-1 series lead over the Nuggets and can take command of this series with a Game 4 victory. Denver went just 20-21 away from home during the regular season, and that doesn’t bode well for them in this must-win game.
San Antonio jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with an impressive 101-96 victory in the series opener. Denver bounced back with a 114-105 win in Game 2, but the Spurs cruised to a 10-point victory in Game 3. San Antonio has been one of the best franchises in the NBA this century, and they know how to close out a series.
The Spurs are a -3.5 point favorite over the Nuggets in this game.
Spurs Getting Surprise Contributions
The San Antonio Spurs have a couple of All-Stars in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, but it was a role player who was the star in Game 3 of the series. Point guard Derrick White has had a nice season for the Spurs, but he went off in Game 3. White finished with a career-high 36 points and went 15-20 on field goal attempts. If White is able to keep this up, then Denver is in trouble.
San Antonio doesn’t attempt a ton of three-point shots as a team, but they are shooting 38 percent in this series. DeRozan leads the team with 24.7 points and 4.3 assists per game, but the Spurs are winning this series because of their defense. The Spurs allowed 110 points per game during the regular season, but they have been locked in so far against the Nuggets.
Murray Hobbled For Game Four
Not only did Jamal Murray get torched by Derrick White in Game 3, but he also suffered an ankle injury, and it was clearly bothering him. Murray is expected to suit up and play Game 4, but the Nuggets will need him to be close to 100 percent. The starting point guard is averaging 15.7 points per game in this series and is one of the Nuggets’ best shooters from deep. Denver is shooting just 27 percent from the three-point line as a team, and the Spurs are forcing them to shoot it from deep.
All-Star center Nikola Jokic had a terrific 2018-19 regular season, but the Spurs appear to have him figured out. Jokic is still averaging 17.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, but San Antonio has made him work hard for everything. The Nuggets also need to pick it up on the defensive end of the floor if they want to even this series up at two games apiece.
Spurs Take 3-1 Series Lead
Even though Denver came into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, it just felt like the Spurs were the favorites to win this series. San Antonio has had a ton of recent playoff success, and Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the league. Denver just doesn’t have enough talent to beat the Spurs, especially in San Antonio. Bet the San Antonio Spurs -3.5 over the Denver Nuggets in Game 4.