Spurs survive last-second shot to beat Nuggets at home

Jan 16 2018 Denver CO USA Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki guards Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center

Celtics 111, Nuggets 110: Jaylen Brown 3-pointer could be start of something big for C's

Denver heads to the Alamo City on the heels of a 111-110 loss at home to Boston on Monday in which the Nuggets' Will Barton had a chance to win the game but missed a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds remaining.

The Celtics had lost five of their last six games prior to Monday's 111-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets got the defensive rebound following a missed basket by Irving with seven seconds left and they didn't call a timeout to advance ball, giving themselves a better chance to score the game victor.

"We missed some defensive assignments, and I thought we missed some good opportunities on offence, but they found a way".

". We have to learn to win these games, and I'm sure we will". Should Malone have called the timeout?

Murray scored on a layup with 28.1 seconds left to get Denver back within one. Barton had 19, Mason Plumlee added 16, Gary Harris tallied 15 and Jamal Murray hit for 14. Kyrie Irving led the team with 27 points and six assists, Jayson Tatum added 20 points and four assists while Marcus Morris chipped in with 14 points off the bench.

Kristaps Porzingis vs Al Horford - The two power forwards will not necessarily spend their whole time directly matched up against one another - the Celtics will no doubt look to double team Porzingis whenever possible - but they certainly will spend some time side by side.

"I was like, no way I'm missing this one", Brown said.

The Celtics beat Denver for the second time this season, also prevailing 124-118 on December 13. Tied entering the final minute, the Celtics hit a couple of clutch shots and stymied the Nuggets on defense.

Nikola Jokic had a double-double by the first minute of the second half for Denver, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Did Will Barton make the right read?

Elsewhere, Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, including a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2:09 remaining, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied after trailing by 11 in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-100. His previous best for 20-point games was 31 in 74 games during his inaugural season with the Spurs in 2016.

The Celtics need to take advantage of these next two home games because it is going to get a lot more hard after that.

"There's no doubt that their confidence level goes up and they feel a little bit more organized with guys like Manu in the lineup", Popovich said.

The Celtics start up with the New York Knicks, and while this is a game they know they should win, they were losing to worse opponent on that four game losing streak. The Nuggets are winless at 0-4 against the spread in their last four games against the Spurs and are winless at the betting window in their last four trips to San Antonio as well.

The Celtics allow the second-least threes per game (8.8) and force their opposition into the lowest accuracy from downtown (33.3 percent).

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