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Apr 12, 2024 11:01 pm

Spurs pull off-last second win over Nuggets

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Little-used reserve Devonte’ Graham hit the deciding jumper with 0.9 seconds left to cap a torrid comeback as the host San Antonio Spurs stunned the Denver Nuggets 121-120 on Friday.

The loss, which came in the next-to-last game of the regular season for both teams, dropped the Nuggets (56-25) into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference.

Denver took charge in a dominating second quarter, weathered a jaw-dropping offensive explosion by the Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama midway through the third quarter, and led by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter.

But San Antonio reeled off a 14-2 run capped by a jumper by Sandro Mamukelashvili to cull its deficit to 109-104 with 5:59 to play. A 3-pointer by Graham followed by a layup by Tre Jones brought the Spurs to within one point with 1:48 left, but Aaron Gordon tipped in a miss by Nikola Jokic with 1:19 remaining to push the Nuggets’ lead to 120-117.

Graham then had a driving layup and, after a Jokic miss, he hit the game-winning shot off a rebound and assist from Jones. The Nuggets had a final chance, but after timeouts from both teams, they could not inbound the ball within five seconds and turned it over.

Wembanyama finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks to lead the Spurs (21-60), including 17 in less than three minutes in the third quarter in which he had four 3-pointers and a three-point play.

Mamukelashvili added a season-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds, Zach Collins had 15 points, Jones and Julian Champagnie 14 apiece and Graham 11.

Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 35 points, while Jokic added 22 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. scored 14 points, Gordon had 13 and Christian Braun 11.

Denver was up just 43-41 after Collins’ turnaround jumper with 6:42 to play in the second period, but it pulled away with a 10-0 run over the ensuing three minutes. The Nuggets limited San Antonio to just 18 points in the quarter and carried a 68-50 advantage into the break.

Murray’s 21 points before halftime led all scorers. Wembanyama paced the Spurs with 15 points and eight rebounds and was assessed his first career technical foul in the first half.

–Field Level Media

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