The San Antonio Spurs took a 2-1 lead in their first-round series with the Denver Nuggets with a 118-108 win in Game 3.
Derrick White led the way for San Antonio with a game-high 36 points. He was one of six Spurs who scored in double figures, the others being DeMar DeRozan (25), LaMarcus Aldridge (18), Rudy Gay (11), Bryn Forbes (10) and Jakob Poeltl (10).
The Nuggets, meanwhile, got another big game from Nikola Jokic, but their backcourt of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris combined for only 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting from the field.
With how well White and DeRozan played, that proved to be too much for Denver to overcome.
For more on the game, here are four takeaways...
The Derrick White Game
Game 3 belonged to Derrick White.
White got off to a scorching start with 26 points in the first half alone. He had 10 points in the first quarter, followed by 16 in the second that helped the Spurs weather the storm while the Nuggets went on a run that got them back in the game.
White was scoreless in the third quarter, but it didn't matter because DeMar DeRozan took over by scoring 19 points of his 25 points in the period. White then carried the Spurs to victory with 10 points in the fourth quarter.
🚨 NEW CAREER-HIGH FOR DERRICK 🚨 pic.twitter.com/j8nqk8ZwmM- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 19, 2019
White finished the game with 36 points, marking a new playoff career-high. He also had five rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.
"It's just a big win for us," White said after the game. "I wanted to come out here and be aggressive and do whatever it takes to help us win.
It's incredible to think the Spurs selected White with the 29th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. They continue to find gems where nobody else is looking.
There were only five teams that finished with less than 10 losses at home this season.
The Spurs were one of those teams.
In fact, the only teams with a better home record than the Spurs during the regular season were the Bucks and Nuggets. It was a different story on the road, as they lost 25 of their 41 games away from San Antonio.
That's why the Spurs stealing Game 1 in Denver was such a big deal. All they've got to do to now to make the second round is win out at home, where wins have come much easier for them this season.
Game 3 was yet another example of that.
Where was Jamal Murray?
After his 21-point fourth quarter heroics in Game 2, Jamal Murray just couldn't get it going in Game 3.
Murray managed just six points on 2-of-6 shooting, adding four turnovers, struggling to get any separation from Derrick White, who smothered the Canadian on defence all night.
Ladies and gentlemen, Derrick White.#GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/WmFDOW4iT6- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 19, 2019
While plenty of credit must go to the Spurs' airtight defence, Murray has to find different ways to score as the series wears on. As Game 2 showed, he might well be the key factor in Denver's success.
It was certainly the case in the regular season, as Murray shot 46.2 percent from the field in wins as opposed to 38.9 percent in losses.
Controlling the paint
The only team to score less points in the paint than the Spurs during the regular season were the Houston Rockets.
You wouldn't know that based on what happened in Game 3, as the Spurs outscored the Nuggets 62-42 in the paint. That's almost 20 more paint points than what they averaged in the season.
White did the bulk of his damage in the paint. It's where he made 12 of his 15 field goals.
"I know they got a lot of attention on [LaMarcus Aldridge] and [DeMar DeRozan], so I try to be aggressive, take it to the hoop strong and try to make plays," White said after the game.
The Nuggets will have to do a much better job of keeping White and the Spurs out of the paint in Game 4 to avoid falling behind 3-1.