The San Antonio Spurs (48-34, 32-9 home) will try to take a 3-1 stranglehold of their first round best-of-seven series against the Denver Nuggets (54-28, 20-21 away), when the two teams clash in Game 4 this Saturday, April 20 at the AT&T Center.
This pivotal tilt has the Spurs listed as 3.5-point favorites, with a projected point total of 208. Visit one of our trusted sportsbooks to make a wager today. San Antonio is an identical 45-39-1 against the spread and over/under this season. Denver meanwhile, is 43-42-0 ATS and 36-48-1 over/under.
Tip-off time is scheduled for 5:30pm EST.
After dropping Game 1 at home to open the series, it opened the door for the Spurs to exploit one weakness in what was a terrific 54-win campaign for Denver: their road record.
Even more fun with numbers: The Denver Nuggets have never won a best-of-7 playoff series when losing Game 1. They are 0-11 in such scenarios.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) April 15, 2019
The Nuggets were a pedestrian 20-21 away from the Pepsi Center this season, a far cry from the team that shredded the opposition with a 34-7 mark. After Game 3’s 118-108 loss, they’re now winless in three tries in San Antonio this season – and a fourth in Game 4 would be extremely tough to bounce back from.
All-star big man Nikola Jokic has been the focus of the Nuggets offense and the Spurs’ top priority to defend, but he can only do so much. Jokic is averaging nearly a triple-double for the series going for 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists over the first three games.
"Derrick White came out like he hadn't eaten in two days…he came out hungry…"
— John Elizondo (@johndelizondo) April 19, 2019
The other player the Nuggets rely on is point guard Jamal Murray, but he delivered his second poor performance of the series, and both have ended in losses. The same Murray that sizzled the Spurs for 21 fourth quarter points to lead the team to a win in Game 2, had just six points on six shots the entire game.
Good two man game action from Jokic and Harris here. Jokic continues to mix in rolls with his pops. Great pass from Jokic, sold the shot, got Aldridge to commit and dumped it to Harris. pic.twitter.com/EuEr4Bmgdc
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) April 19, 2019
He’s shooting just 39.1% from the floor and 28.6% from three point range for the series. If he stays cool, look for the Nuggets to try and feature Gary Harris Jr. more frequently. He’s leading the team in scoring at 18.3 points per game, and shooting better than 51% for the series.
Also, if the Nuggets can’t find a legitimate closer soon, does head coach Mike Malone dust off Isiah Thomas and see if he can’t recreate magic?
Nuggets vs Spurs Statistical Comparison
|112.4 (6th)||Offensive Rating||114.1 (5th)|
|110.7 (20th)||Points||111.7 (18th)|
|27.4 (2nd)||Assists||24.5 (16th)|
|46.6 (13th)||Field-Goal Percentage||47.8 (2nd)|
|35.1 (17th)||Three-Point Percentage||39.2 (1st)|
|+4.0 (8th)||Plus/Minus||+1.7 (12th)|
|114.1 (12th)||Defensive Rating||112.4 (11th)|
|106.7 (6th)||Points||110.0 (12th)|
|45.8 (15th)||Field-Goal Percentage||46.3 (18th)|
|33.9 (1st)||Three-Point Percentage||35.9 (T-18th)|
|48.9 (T-14th)||Points In The Paint||46.6 (6th)|
* Regular season statistics
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs pretty much know who they are: a veteran roster with a pair of stars in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan who do much of the heavy lifting in the crunch.
— NBA (@NBA) April 19, 2019
But when one of their role players starts throwing flames, they become a very difficult team to beat.
That was the case in Game 3 when unheralded Derrick White went nuts, pouring in 36 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead his team to a 2-1 series lead.
I've been raving about Derrick White all year on Undisputed. I'm sure lots of people have laughed. Laughing now? He POSTERIZED Milllsap with a wicked attack-dunk, then stole it from Jamal Murray to seal the deal. DERRICK WHITE.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 14, 2019
The most efficient team in three-point shooting (on the fewest shots) was right on point in this one, as the Spurs connected on seven money balls on just 18 attempts, just a shade under their league-best 39.1% connection rate during the regular season.
Nuggets can't stop Derrick White from getting to the rim
1st Half: 26 PTS (11-15 FG) pic.twitter.com/Fm4qTABKsG
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) April 19, 2019
But where they made their true imprint in the game was scoring in the paint. San Antonio, poured in 62 points in the painted area, punching way above their regular season total of 43.8 points per game a mark that was tied for second worst in basketball with the Golden State Warriors and trailing only the Houston Rockets.
As mentioned, Aldridge and DeRozan continue standout in this series. Aldridge leads the team in scoring at 21.3 points a game on 51% shooting, while DD in delievering better than 21 points a game this playoffs.
Greg popovich officially has the MOST total wins as head coach in NBA HISTORY with 1,413 after tonights win against the Denver Nuggets! pic.twitter.com/00r55L3gkK
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) April 14, 2019
A team that was second in the NBA in field goal percentage during the regular season also hasn’t skipped a beat. San Antonio is shooting it at 47.7% in the playoffs, just a tick below their season mark.
It’s a tough game to pick, but it should be an interesting one to watch. Tip off time just around the corner!