Aldridge also nailed two crucial free throws after a key defensive rebound on Murray's missed shot that would have given the Nuggets a 98-97 lead in the last 7 seconds.
It might have been his playoff debut with San Antonio, but DeMar DeRozan is no stranger to postseason action.
The 2019 National Basketball Association playoffs is off to a hot start with a couple of early surprises on the first day. They joined the Nets, who won at Philadelphia, and Magic, who won at Toronto.
Making their first playoff appearance in six years, the Nuggets trailed most of the night, but they trimmed a 12-point deficit to one in the final minute. Even with Murray struggling with his shot as he made just eight of 24 from the field, the Nuggets were still in the contest which will give them plenty of confidence. Defensively, Houston is giving up 109.1 points per game while opponents shoot 46.6 percent against them and they hold foes to only 34 percent shooting from 3-point land.
"He's spectacular for somebody who got put into that position", Popovich said.
In Houston's four games to the Jazz, Gordon averaged only 10 points a game on 29.6 % shooting from the field, and the Rockets and Jazz split the season series.
Denver All-Star Nikola Jokic posted the fourth triple-double in Nuggets playoff history, with 10 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds. "We tried to make everything tough on him and rebound the ball".
Milwaukee Bucks roll past Detroit Pistons 121-86 in series opener
It was ugly from the start for the underdog Pistons, who were crushed by Bucks, 121-86, in the opener of a first-round series. Within six minutes the lead had grown to 17 points and victory looked assured after the opening quarter behind the 38-18 lead.
Popovich said it was a wash because Aldridge, who was 6-for-19 for 15 points, really didn't get going, either. Sometimes, not much needs to be said. Reserve Rudy Gay scored 14.
Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 20 points and Murray scored 17. Dario Saric missed on the other end and Paul Millsap hit another 3-pointer with 1:30 left to pull Denver within two.
The San Antonio Spurs knew they needed to win at least one game in Denver if they were going to move on to the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs, and they wasted no time in picking up that W with a Game One road victory.
"This is not rocket science", Malone said.
The Nuggets will look to tie things up in Game 2 on Tuesday, April 16 at 9:00 p.m. on NBATV Canada.
UP NEXT Game 2 of the first-round series will come Wednesday night at the Toyota Center. "That third quarter, our defense was phenomenal".
Denver: The Nuggets are 6-21 against the Spurs in the playoffs.
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