Denver (USA), .- The figure of the Serbian center Nikola Jokic was again present in the Denver Nuggets game that took advantage of the double-double of 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists contributed in the match they won by 113-85 to the Spurs of San Antonio, in what could be the anticipated duel of the first round of the playoffs.
While the Nuggets as a team got a new season record with 41 assists, they also helped him to always be in control of the pace of the game and the score.
Regardless of the superiority shown by the Nuggets, the note of the game was the expulsion of the Spurs coach, the veteran Gregg Popovich, when they were barely a minute and three seconds away from the start of the match, which took place at the Pepsi Center of Denver.
The expulsion, which is the fastest that has occurred this season in the NBA, was the second that Popovich suffers in the last three games that have played the Spurs, the previous one occurred last Sunday in the third period of the game that played against the Sacramento Kings, at the AT & T Center in San Antonio and they lost by 106-113.
The former coach who was sent off before the first two minutes of the game was played was the late Flip Saunders, when he was leading the Washington Wizards, and they faced the Boston Celtics on January 2, 2012.
Saunders was sent off when one minute and 46 seconds of action were completed in the first quarter.
The Italian coach Ettore Messina, the Spurs’ main assistant, was the one who occupied the position of Popovich.
Canadian baseman Jamal Murray also contributed a double-double of 14 points and 11 assists as a leader in the direction of the Nuggets game (52-26), who remain second in the Western Conference, a game and a half from the Warriors of Golden State (53-24), who had a rest day.
The victory allowed the Nuggets to recover from last night’s 116-102 loss to the Warriors.
Spanish power forward Juancho Hernangómez received minutes from Nuggets coach Michael Malone, this time it was six minutes in which he did not make a shot to the basket, but he handed out an assist and recovered a ball.
The Nuggets improved to 32-7 the mark in the games played in their field of the Pepsi Center, which is the best there is currently in the Western Conference.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV got 16 points apiece, which did not prevent the Spurs defeat (45-34), the third, in the last five games, which cost them to fall to eighth place the Western Conference.
While the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had rest day, were placed in seventh place.
This season, the Nuggets are 24-2 when they have left the rival teams below 100 points. (EFE)