Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was “surprised people stayed” to watch the Denver Nuggets end his team’s season with a 90-86 victory in an “odd” Game 7 on Saturday.
Nikola Jokic led the way with a triple-double of 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the Western Conference first-round playoff decider.
Spurs head coach Popovich thought a lack of entertainment in the first half might have led to a mass exodus at Pepsi Center.
“Tonight was an odd game,” said Popovich. “I thought both teams set basketball back in the first half. I’m surprised people stayed.”
We’ll see y’all back here Monday for Round 2. #NBAPlayoffs #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/aOneBa8Lf3
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 28, 2019
Popovich is in the final year of his contract and refused to be drawn on whether he will stay on.
“I’m a head coach in the NBA,” Popovich said. “I don’t think about what that means in the future.”
The Nuggets’ series triumph was their first in the postseason in a decade and coach Michael Malone reflected on how far they have come ahead of a semi-final battle with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“You looked in the stands, it was witness protection night,” Malone said of years gone by. “There was nobody here.
“Really, to see where we’ve come in four years, to be a team that won a Game 7 at home and advancing to the second round for the first time in a while, is incredible. It’s almost surreal at times.”