SAN ANTONIO - Forget all the clichés except for maybe one from former Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis: "Just win, baby."
That is what the San Antonio Spurs have to do Thursday night when they host the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs.
If the Spurs win, they will force a Game 7 in Denver on Saturday. If they lose, then it's time for summer vacation.
“We want to extend the season. It’s not going to be easy,” said Spurs center Jakob Poeltl. "It’s an elimination game we have to leave it all out there on the court.”
“It is a Game 7, these next two games are Game 7s,” said Spurs guard Bryn Forbes.
The Spurs will have to rely on some experiences in the past where they have had to respond to adversity.
“We bounce back pretty well. We know what we have to do. It’s about us sticking together,” Poeltl said.
On the opposite side of the court, Denver is looking to close things out after winning back-to-back games in the series.
“We are all in right now. We are focused, mentally prepared,” said Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
"They are going to play with a lot of desperation,” said Nuggets guard Torrey Craig.
If the Spurs are going to pull off a win and keep the series alive, they are going to have to cool down the 3-point shooting of the Nuggets.
Denver knocked down 15 3-pointers in Game 4 and another 13 in Game 5.
Some of those makes could have been preventable with some better defence, and that is what the players are going to have to clean up.
“Mistakes on rotations, that plays a huge part that was a lot of last game,” said Forbes. “I think it is going to come down to the small details."
"They score a lot in transition they get a lot of 3s in transition too," Forbes said. "When we let them run guys are going to be open and that usually starts with turnovers and bad shots.”
It boils down to the Spurs basically having to play a near perfect game, or they will be planning that perfect vacation.
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