Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Nuggets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (21-3) vs. DENVER NUGGETS (15-9)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 20.2 Tim Duncan 9.3 Tony Parker 7.0
NUGGETS Carmelo Anthony 23.7 Carmelo Anthony 8.3 Chauncey Billups 5.4

Nuggets_logoThe San Antonio Spurs (21-3) will make their first of two visits to Denver this season after capping off a 6-0 home-stand last night with a 92-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
  
Manu Ginobili hit the game-winning fall-away jumper over Luc Mbah a Moute as time expired.

The Spurs are 8-1 on the road, with their only loss on the road coming from the Los Angeles Clippers (90-85) on December 1. 

The Denver Nuggets (15-9) are coming from an impressive win over the Orlando Magic last Tuesday. Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points and grabbed 11 boards in the Nuggets’ recent win.

Ty Lawson will likely start at point guard for the Nuggets in place of Chauncey Billups, who missed Tuesday’s victory with a wrist injury.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs did not have great offensive game in their latest win against the Bucks. That will have to change when they play the Nuggets. It will be key for Duncan to establish his inside game early to loosen up the pressure on the Spurs’ outside shooters.

Defense
– Anthony is a handful and the Spurs must limit his touches on offense and then try to control the Nuggets’ inside game. I know, easier said than done.

NUGGETS:

Offense — They are 3rd in the league in scoring and have six players averaging in double figures entering this game. They have a good mix of inside and outside game with Anthony, Nene, and J.R. Smith.

Defense — Guard the Spurs drive and kick game, contain Duncan on the inside. Limit Ginobili, Parker and Jefferson’s dribble penetrations.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out), Tony Parker – finger (day-to-day), Tiago Splitter – right adductor contusion (day-to-day), DeJuan Blair – hyper-extended knee (day-to-day).

Nuggets — Chauncey Billups – wrist (out), Chris Anderson – back (out)

PREDICTION: The Spurs spent too much energy beating a hard fighting Bucks team and playing the second night of a back-to-back they should try to avoid a flat start. 
The Nuggets are well rested and will be primed to win at home with Anthony leading their offensive attack. The Spurs winning streak will be halted to six games, as the Nuggets will take this one 106-102.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

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