The San Antonio Spurs kept their first-round series alive with a tough 120-103 win over the Denver Nuggets, but now the real test comes, with a Game 7 on the road in Denver.
5 TAKEAWAYS: Spurs force Game 7 with hard-fought win over the Nuggets
Denver boasted the league's best home record in the regular season at 34-7, with the Pepsi Center proving to be one of the toughest arenas to win on the road and Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan says they need to keep the same approach from their win-or-go-home Game 6 performance today.
"Like we approached it tonight, eager, desperate, but under control, understanding what needs to be done, playing with smarts and it's fun, you gotta go out there and have fun," DeRozan said.
The 29-year-old has played in three Game 7s (2-1) throughout his career, all with the Toronto Raptors and while he and his Spurs teammates have been in tough playoff games before compared to the young Nuggets, DeRozan says they can't rely on experience alone to get the job done.
"You can lean on experience, but we gotta come ready, mentally more than anything. It's going to be tough, we can't get caught up in the crowd, we gotta understand it's us vs. them and everything is against us. Go out there, play free, play smart and just be ready."
"Your backs against the wall, it's literally win or go home. Win or go home, simple as that.
"You know once you understand the meaning of that going into that game, understand that every single second on that cour matters, you don't want to walk off that court preparing for summer, it brings out a different side of you and the guys that have been in a Game 7 understand what it's like, so we all gotta treat it like we did tonight."
The Spurs will take plenty of confidence into Game 7 having won Game 1 at the Pepsi Center and DeRozan says the key to getting the result is keeping things simple.
"We went in there Game 1, got a game. That shows you we can go in there and win, we was up 19 [in] Game 2 and let it get away from us.
"As long as we understand we gotta be consistent, be smart, we'll be just fine. We can't go in there overthinking. I think a couple games this series we came in overthinking and we lost a few quarter big and it was tough for us to get back in it. As long as we don't overthink it and go in there and go in there and play like how we know how to play, we'll be fine."