While Murray was shooting, White put on an old-school retro Spurs warm-up top after spoiling the Nuggets' first playoff game since the 2012-13 season when George Karl was their head coach.
The Spurs came out seeking redemption from their regular season road game record of 16-25. And they know the Rockets did. His 29 points on 26 shots would suggest that the Jazz were pleased with the outcome, but it's what Harden did for others that set him apart in Game 1. They'll assuredly come into this series prepared and with a well-crafted game plan, courtesy of Quin Snyder, that if executed well could very well lead to victory. We have to disrupt their routes and their plays and things they like to do and make sure that they're not comfortable. Beer goggles may be a playful banter about hindering views, but last night, Rudy Gay & LaMarcus Aldridge encountered a similar incident.
Composure on Calls: Officials missing these calls could've easily caused Popovich to lose his cool. Popovich maintained his Zen while officials omitted their whistles.
Denver picked it up in the second quarter offensively as they were able to find their rhythm and score 34 points, but still struggled with their outside shooting. Ricky Rubio is the third double-digit scorer and Derrick Favors is grabbing six rebounds.
Millsap, one of the only Nuggets with playoff experience, said the close call against lottery-bound Minnesota and its bevy of backups with nothing to lose was "a good test for us". Losing to the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets was a tough setback.
White's first game-changing play happened in the third quarter when he grabbed a defensive rebound and then raced down the court for a monster slam dunk right over Denver's Paul Millsap, who fouled White on the play.
The two teams split their four-game season series, with Houston winning each of the two most recent games, not so coincidentally, coinciding with the Rockets upgrading their roster over the course of the season.
It's the second consecutive year the teams have met in the postseason after the Rockets eliminated Utah in five games in the second round last season. DeRozan shut down any doubt that his game isn't adequate on a playoff level.
"He can affect a game in so many different ways".
Popovich passed Lenny Wilkens en route to his 1,413th win as a coach for the Spurs. Popovich has been coaching the Spurs since the 1996 season and in that time has won three coach of the year awards, along with all five of the franchise's National Basketball Association championships. That number falls under one of many accolades for Popovich. In the end, it didn't much matter, but don't expect that to continue.
The Utah Jazz tried to force the left-handed James Harden to his right to make things more hard on him on Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
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