Derrick White has career-high 36 points, Spurs beat Nuggets 118-108

San Antonio point guard Derrick White was screaming, flexing and stomping around the court after almost every basket against Denver.

It was completely out of character for White, but the mild-mannered point guard has not been in this situation before.

White had a career-high 36 points and the Spurs beat the Nuggets 118-108 in San Antonio on Thursday night, withstanding a first-half lapse to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

“I just had a chip on my shoulder,” White said. “This is the way I’ve played since I was young. Just try to go out there, compete and have fun.”

Nikola Jokic had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Denver.

Game 4 is Saturday in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 3-0 against the Nuggets this season.

White attacked Denver point guard Jamal Murray from the opening tip after being on the receiving end of Murray’s career outing Tuesday night. Murray had only six points, a game after scoring 21 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help Denver overcome a 19-point deficit to even the series.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Derrick White, the last couple of days, has been reminded about Jamal Murray’s fourth-quarter performance,” Denver head coach Michael Malone said. “Derrick White came out like he hadn’t eaten in two days. He came out hungry, he came out (ticked) off and he sent a very loud and clear message. I’m anxious to see our guys, how do we respond to that.”

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half for San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Rudy Gay had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

76ers 131, Nets 115: Joel Embiid took off his warm-up gear and changed into street clothes, his left knee feeling too sore to play.

Even with the All-Star center sitting down, Philadelphia was flying high in Game 3.

Ben Simmons scored a career playoff-high 31 points, Tobias Harris added 29 points and 16 rebounds and the 76ers shook off the absence of their leading scorer to regain homecourt advantage, winning at Brooklyn to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

The 76ers relied on Simmons slashing to the basket, and Harris and JJ Redick shooting from the perimeter.

“We have the pieces to get games, to complete games and I think everybody in the organization knows that,” Simmons said.

Harris had his playoff highs in both points and rebounds, and was 6-for-6 from 3-point range. Redick was 5-for-9 behind the arc and finished with 26 points.

D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each scored 26 points for the Nets, who host Game 4 on Saturday afternoon. They have dropped the past two games after surprising the No. 3 seed in the opener in Philadelphia.

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