The Denver Nuggets hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night in what was the Nuggets’ first game since the All-Star break. It was 2000’s night at the Pepsi Center and Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby sat court-side as the Nuggets picked up a 122-119 victory. The trio of former Nuggets were honored at halftime.

The first quarter was played at a break-neck pace. Both teams were hot from the floor and neither looked particularly interested in playing defense. That suited Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic and veteran forward Wilson Chandler just fine.

Chandler, who has admitted that he prefers to play at the power forward position, caught the start at the four and he looked especially comfortable in his first rotation. Chandler finished the quarter 4-4 from deep and recorded 14 surprising points.

Jokic served as the team’s point guard, pushing the ball up the floor at a brisk pace and probing the floor for open cutters. The big Serbian did his best to put us all on triple-double watch as he racked up seven points, three rebounds and four assists in the first.

The Nuggets edged out the Spurs in a high-scoring quarter and carried a slim 32-30 lead into the second.

As the second quarter unfolded, it became clear that there would be little to separate these two teams on this particular night. The Spurs have had their way with the Nuggets down low in the past, but the points in the paint battle was virtually even this time around. Neither team was able to create a significant advantage in the turnover battle or with their three-point shooting. The two teams essentially went shot-for-shot over the course of the first half and each squad had three players in double-digits before they headed for the locker room.

The Nuggets had particular difficulty containing the Spurs’ quick guards. Patty Mills popped off for 14 first-half points, featuring a 4-7 performance from deep and Tony Parker dropped eight points off the bench. Dejounte Murray added ten points as well. But the Spurs had no answer for the activity of Jokic and confidence of Chandler. The two players carried the Nuggets to what felt like the slimmest of leads, 63-61, at the half.

The third quarter featured some basketball that’s no longer in vogue in the modern NBA. The two best players on the court, Aldridge and Jokic, went at each other in the post. Jokic continued to be effective and assertive as he inched his way closer to a third consecutive triple-double.

The ball went through Jokic seemingly every time down the floor and Denver found success through that approach. The only problem was they couldn’t stop Aldridge on the other end. After dropping 14 points in the first half, LA dropped 12 on the Nuggets in the third as he absolutely feasted on Jokic.

The lead would seesaw back and forth and the score was tied at 83 with just over three minutes remaining in the third when Denver made their big push. Jokic, Gary Harris and Will Barton helped engineer an 13-4 lead to close the quarter and give Denver its biggest lead of the night.

The Spurs made a small push of their own to open the final quarter and they were able to whittle away at the lead. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone opted not to allow Jokic his usual rest time and brought him back into the game with just under 10 minutes remaining. Jokic continued to bring an infectious energy and enthusiasm to his play. He was vocal on defense—albeit struggling—assertive on offense, and fired up in between big plays.

At one point in the quarter, a fight for a rebound resulted in a loose ball rolling to half-court. Jokic, who had already begun his retreat into transition defense, picked it up at the logo. The big Serbian held his composure and looked off the defense before throwing the most nonchalant half-court assist you’ll ever see. He found an open Barton near the rim, who laid it in and drew the foul.

As the Pepsi Center erupted, Jokic himself felt the energy. The typically passive and even-keeled big man pumped both his fists and let out an uncharacteristically ferocious scream as he stood on the 50th anniversary logo at half-court. Jokic had recorded his third consecutive triple-double.

The Jokic magic would wear off as the quarter went on. The story of the game changed from the play on the court to the refs and their whistles. While the whistles may not have been partial, they were put to heavy-use as the game slipped away from the officials. The budding tension culminated in the Nuggets receiving two technicals following a questionable charge call.

The boos rained down as hard as ever in the Pepsi Center as Aldridge stepped to the line for his free throws. He made the first to tie the game at 112, but missed the second. The crowd erupted as Mason Plumlee implored them to get on their feet and make some noise.

The crowd responded to Plumlee’s call as the final minutes of the game contained a playoff game feel and featured deafening noise from the Nuggets faithful. The teams continued to exchange buckets until, poetically, Mason Plumlee pushed the lead to five and brought the crowd to its feat once more with a monster alley-oop slam. That would prove to be the go-ahead basket as the Spurs failed to find a three in their final possession and the Nuggets walked away with a 122-119 victory.

Following the win, the Nuggets improve to 33-26 on the year and 24-7 at home. They’ll have Saturday off, before hosting James Harden, Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets on Sunday night. That game tips off at 6pm MT.