Denver Nuggets: Inexperience, lack of Nikola Jokic prove costly in Game 1

Annette Crawford
April 15, 2019

Recording a near triple-double with 29 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 32 minutes, Harden did a majority of his damage - 17 points and seven assists - in the first half.

We learned how some of these individual matchups will play out as the series goes along, but it's important to avoid ovrreacting to what we saw in Game One. "He's so good offensively it makes me laugh. You're not stopping him, I don't care what you do".

Unlike a majority of the season, James Harden didn't have to do everything for the team on offense in Game 1, but he was still on fire.

The double team was only effective because the Nuggets kept missing wide open shots which only encouraged the Spurs to keep doubling Jokic.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. Jazz spread in Game 1 on Sunday against a Utah team that came on strong as the NBA Playoffs 2019 approached.

Houston was up by 15 in the fourth quarter before Harden, who had eight rebounds, scored six points in a 9-2 run that stretched the lead to 108-86 with four minutes left and both teams cleared their benches about a minute after that.

Houston made headway by holding its own on the glass and defending with vigor, limiting Utah guard Donovan Mitchell to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and the Jazz to 39.0 percent shooting. "If you get five turnovers, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust".

Gary Harris led Denver with 20 points and Murray had 17, but that was on 8-of-24 shooting, including 0 for 6 from the arc. Soon after he returned he found House behind the 3-point line in the corner and drove to the basket and finished with a one-handed slam.

Jokic hit a short jumper, Will Barton drained a 3-pointer and then split two free throws to make it 95-90 with 1:57 left.

For the Nuggets, who finished with the second best record in the Western Conference; yesterday was their chance to show the doubters that they are for real and can compete with the Golden State Warriors, but the Spurs showed them the importance of having an experienced team come playoff time.

Jazz: Derrick Favours had 13 points. He also correctly read what the Jazz was planning to do and just dished to the open shooters to put up the same amount of points they were trying to prevent in the first place. Jae Crowder scored nine points off the bench. The Houston Rockets are allowing 25.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42 rebounds per game.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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