SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs did what they had to do.
Now it is back to Denver for a winner take all Game 7 after the Spurs beat the Nuggets 120-103 in Game 6 of the best-of-seven series.
"Like I said before the game, almost like a Game 7 for us, an elimination game. We've got to go out there and leave it all on the court and I think we did," said Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, who had eight points and nine rebounds.
"Give them credit. Their season was hanging in the balance," said Nuggets Head Coach Mike Malone.
"I think you just saw the heart that we have, that we really wanted this game," Poeltl said.
It was back and forth throughout most of the first three quarters. Then the Spurs went on a 22-4 run that closed out the third quarter and started the fourth. The Spurs opened the fourth with an 8-0 run.
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan played big roles in that run. Aldridge finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds while DeRozan had 25 points.
"Win or go home. Our guys brought it," Aldridge said.
One of the big factors was Rudy Gay who had his best performance by far in these playoffs.
He scored 19 points off the bench and that included three corner 3s.
"It's been a tough series for me. It felt good to see a couple go in and hopefully this jump-starts next game," Gay said.
"He's a scorer. He's been that his whole career. You take your shots with confidence, (he) just found his rhythm," Aldridge said.
The Spurs pulled off one of those "playoff plays" which was a microcosm of the Nuggets night.
With time running out in the first half. DeMar DeRozan drove to the basket, got fouled and made the fall away shot.
The officials overruled the call and sent DeRozan to the line for two foul shots.
He made the first, missed the second but got his own rebound and put it back before the buzzer.
The Spurs went to the locker room with a four point lead and momentum. A big play against the Nuggets.
"DeMar DeRozan misses. No one boxes him out, he grabs the rebound and lays it in. The attention to detail was not there tonight," said Malone.
The Nuggets did get a playoff career night from Nikola Jokic who scored 43 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Spurs will now play in the franchise's 11th Game 7. They plan to approach it the same way they did for Game 6.
DeMar DeRozan on the Spurs approach to Game 7 at Denver...”we’re eager, desperate but under control...it’s literally win or go home. Every second on the court matters” #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/2JBuOSXGPW — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 26, 2019
"Like we approached it tonight, eager and desperate, but under control," said DeRozan.
"I think it's going to be an all out brawl. They are going to come in ready. We are going to come in ready," Poeltl said.
Game 7 is Saturday night in Denver at 9 p.m. Central Time.
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