The two best words in sport ... Game 7.
The San Antonio Spurs staved off elimination on their home floor with a hard-fought 120-103 win over the Denver Nuggets, led by 26 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 25 points from DeMar DeRozan.
Denver's Nikola Jokic turned in a monster performance with a franchise playoff-record 43 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists on the night, while Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Gary Harris all cracked double-digit scoring.
With the series finale heading back to Denver, here's five key takeaways from today's action:
An efficient night for DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan put on a show in Game 6, connecting on 12 of his 16 shot attempts for his 25 points, 18 of which came in the second half. He added seven rebounds and seven assists, with just one turnover.
DeRozan iced the game down the stretch, with five minutes remaining, knocking down three-straight shots to blow the lead out to 20 points.
🚨 DEMAR AT THE BUZZER 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ZwgYILMiqt- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 26, 2019
"We had to come out aggressive. It was do or die - literally," DeRozan said in his on-court interview after the game. "We were on our home court, and it was on me to come out and be aggressive, and that's what we did."
Another monster game for The Joker
Nikola Jokic did everything he could to get the Nuggets a win in Game 6. He got off to a slow start, but Jokic came alive in the second quarter with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists, almost giving him a triple-double at the half.
He then carried that momentum into the third quarter, when he exploded for 17 points on an almost perfect 8-for-9 shooting from the field. Jokic showed off his entire repertoire in that quarter, scoring on a healthy mix of post-ups, pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops.
"Not sure if that 3Q was the best Q of Jokic's career, but there can't have been that many better," ESPN's Zach Lowe tweeted.
Jokic finished the game with 43 points (a franchise playoff-record), 11 rebounds and nine assists. It wasn't ultimately enough to punch Denver's ticket to the second round - he and the Nuggets will get a second crack at it this weekend when they host the Spurs in Game 7 - but it served as yet another reminder of how unique of a talent he is.
Spurs' bench came to play
This is the game we've been waiting for from the San Antonio reserves.
After some spotty production through the first five games, the Spurs' second unit came to life in Game 6, outscoring the Nuggets' reserves 36-13.
Rudy Gay led the charge, coming up with some big buckets down the stretch, leading the bench with 19 points on the night.
RUDY FOR THREE! pic.twitter.com/BiaI0iLqYQ- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 26, 2019
Gay, Marco Belinelli (9) and Patty Mills (6) helped push the Spurs ahead with the starters out of the game, lighting it up from three, combining for five of the Spurs' 10 3-point makes on the night.
Fourth quarter execution
After taking a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Spurs slammed the door on the Nuggets, opening the final frame on a 17-2 run led by Gay, Jakob Poeltl, Belinelli, Bryn Forbes and Aldridge.
To put it simply, the Spurs just hit shots down the stretch, shooting 12-of-23 from the field and 4-of-9 from the 3-point line as they outscored the Nuggets 30-18.
Bryn Forbes from DEEP to beat the shot clock! 15-2 @spurs start to the 4th! #NBAPlayoffs #GoSpursGo 105#MileHighBasketball 87- NBA (@NBA) April 26, 2019
7:27 remaining on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/nHaxmk97fU
With victory in sight, the Spurs turned up the heat in the hustle department, outrebounding Denver 14-7 in the fourth, with Poeltl dominating the offensive glass.
The Nuggets struggled to make outside shots in Game 6. They missed 18 of their 24 3-point attempts, with Nikola Jokic (2-6), Gary Harris (2-3), Torrey Craig (1-2) and Jamal Murray (1-5) being the only players on the team to make a shot from the perimeter.
Paul Millsap missed both of his attempts, Malik Beasley and Trey Lyles missed both of theirs and Will Barton went 0-for-4 from deep.
The Nuggets have now shot 25.0 percent of worse from the 3-point range in two of their three losses in this series. Game 3 was the only game in which they shot well from deep and still lost.