DENVER - Game 2 of the first-round series between the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center looked a lot like the Spurs’ victory in Game 1 up until Jamal Murray got going in a 114-105 Nuggets win to even the series.
Much like Game 1, there were missed shots, defensive lapses and a big deficit for the Nuggets to erase.
Murray, who missed a potential go-ahead bucket in the final 15 seconds of Game 1, shook off a slow start Tuesday and put the Nuggets ahead on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter. He entered the final 12 minutes with just three points, all free throws after starting 0 of 8 from the field.
Murray hit a pair of free throws with 4:50 left to give the Nuggets their first lead since late in the first quarter. He added a 15-foot floater a little more than a minute later and hit a free throw after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was assessed a technical foul to put Denver up 102-99.
That was before he hit consecutive 3-pointers, a circus shot to beat the shot clock and a pull-up triple in transition, to put the Nuggets up nine with just over two minutes to play.
The point guard’s 21-point fourth quarter helped Denver erase a couple of big deficits, something it couldn’t do Saturday.
San Antonio led 78-59 with 4:28 left in the third quarter after a Rudy Gay free throw, but the Nuggets cut the deficit to seven by the end of the quarter behind 3-pointers from Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Malik Beasley. Harris also had a thunderous dunk and a couple of other finishes around the hoop as part of his 14-point third quarter to keep Denver in the game.
A 15-2 San Antonio run to start the second quarter saw the Nuggets fall behind by 19 for the first time before 3-pointers from Jokic and Harris and a three-point play from Monte Morris cut the deficit to eight. The Nuggets pulled within six on a couple of occasions, but Derrick White’s 3-pointer in the final minute helped the Spurs to a 10-point advantage at the half.
Murray led the Nuggets with 24 points, and Harris added 23.
San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 31.
Game 3 is Thursday in San Antonio.