SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Hoping to find a spark at the start of Game 4, Denver Nuggets manager Michael Malone decided to change the grid by substituting Torrey Craig as Will Barton's striker has paid off when Craig exploded 18 points in 37 minutes to help the Nuggets capture their first round of the NBA Playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs 2-2 on a 117-103 win on Saturday.
In the first three games he was on the grid and remained at the battling Barton. But Barton missed 12 out of 13 3-pointers in the first three games of the series and scored 3:10 in 4 minutes in just 15 minutes.
Malone said before the game on Saturday night that Spurs was keeping watch Derrick White had priority. White entered Game 4 with an average of 23 points, scoring 69 percent after scoring 36 points in his Spurs & # 39; Game 3 win on Thursday.
Denver held the 24-year-old only 8 points in eight games in Game 4. As Craig raised the minutes on Saturday night, Gary Harris dropped DeMar DeRozan on White.
Craig fired the Nuggets in Game 3, scoring 12 points, gaining six rebounds and playing strong defense. He was rewarded in Game 4 with the team's second most minute behind Star Center Nikola Jokic, adding 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block to his 18 points.
"Our boys answered," Malone said after the game. "It was not just veterinarians, it was a lot of young people, Torrey Craig got his first playoff start, he was in the G-League last year and he has a game like that."
Malone said before the game He wanted to challenge Jamal Murray, who in the fourth quarter of the game had beaten Nuggets & # 39; Game 2 after 21 points to improve his game in Game 4.
Murray responded, scoring 8 points out of 8 -14 in 33 minutes.
"I always come back," Murray said after the game.