Spurs vs. Nuggets Recap

Both teams without one of their marquee names, the Tony Parker-less San Antonio Spurs

(27-19) showed little signs of life against the Carmelo Anthony-less Denver Nuggets (32-15) in a nationally-televised showdown Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center.

After wins against Atlanta and Memphis, the Western Conference fifth-ranked Spurs were set to end their six-game home stand on a short winning streak, but that ended abruptly as the second-ranked Nuggets had their say on the court.

Antonio McDyess, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan, George Hill and Roger Mason Jr. started off for San Antonio with first possession. Jefferson made the basket for the Spurs, scoring seven points in the first quarter alone with the first three-point shot of the game. A rousing round of keep-away broke out between Hill and Denver’s Chauncey Billups near the end of the quarter before Duncan and Ginobili stepped in to bolster the Spurs’ offense.

Billups and Martin led the Nuggets in controlling the game for most of the quarter; Denver held the lead three times before San Antonio was able to come out on top, thanks to a three-pointer at the top of the arc from Matt Bonner with 1:50 on the clock. Ginobili made a fast break to score in the last thirty seconds of the quarter, but was fouled by Martin and sent to the line, completing 1-of-2 free throws. The Spurs ended the first quarter with a 2-point lead over the Nuggets, 23-21.

Turnover-plagued Denver gave San Antonio a chance to add to its lead as DeJuan Blair came off the bench, scoring two baskets in the first minute and a half of the second. Newly-recovered Michael Finley made his debut on the court in the first quarter, but made no scoring contribution and returned to the bench after several minutes’ playing time in the second quarter. Blair continued to be a force on the court, defending heavily against Nene before turning around to score for a five-point lead.

San Antonio went into some serious offensive work halfway through the quarter, recovering quickly from missed shots and passing the ball efficiently. After a Denver basket to gain the lead, the Spurs came back as Jefferson scored and Hill turned a fast break basket into a three-point play after being fouled. Duncan added another two points to the board with free throws, while Ginobili made a three-point jumper to give the Spurs an eight point edge – their biggest lead of the game before the half.

The Spurs showed signs of trouble as J.R. Smith went on a scoring spree, leading Denver into a 12-0 run that went unanswered by San Antonio. The Nuggets recovered from their poor showing earlier in the quarter to develop a four-point lead going into halftime, 45-41, over San Antonio. The Spurs shot for 37 percent in the first half, making 3-of-11 three-point field goals and nine second-chance points.
Duncan was able to give the Spurs a little help from free throws, but Denver continued to dominate with as much as a ten-point lead for the first two and half minutes of the third until Hill, McDyess and Jefferson made consecutive baskets. San Antonio managed to overcome the Nuggets’ intense power and eventually became locked in battle for the lead, which changed six times in a two-minute span halfway through the quarter. The Nuggets eventually won out, but the Spurs remained close behind as McDyess, Ginobili and Hill tried to answer each Denver basket yet fell short, 75-68 at the end of the quarter.

Inaccurate shooting caused the fourth quarter to become more difficult than necessary for the Spurs. McDyess, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half, narrowed Denver’s lead to two points with back-to-back baskets with under four minutes to go. San Antonio was unable to regain the lead as Billups and Martin consistently scored for Denver. Duncan made the Spurs’ final basket just before Martin scored six of the Nuggets’ final eight points in the last minute and a half of the game to finalize the win over San Antonio, 103-89.

A glance at the statistics proves Sunday was not the Spurs’ best as Hill led the team in scoring with 17 points, followed by Duncan and McDyess with 16 and 13 points respectively. Duncan had 10 rebounds, while Ginobili and Jefferson each had five. In addition to their 34-of-79 shooting, San Antonio struggled with three-point shots the entire game, finishing with just 3-of-17 completions. The team had 33 rebounds, nine of which were offensive.

With the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in town, the Spurs begin their annual eight-game road trip against the Sacramento Kings (16-30) on Wednesday night.

Spurs vs. Nuggets Recap

After losing to the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs (9-7) faced the Denver Nuggets (14-5) in San Antonio in a clash of two Western Conference powers.  This game provided the Spurs an early look at the Nuggets team that went to the Western Conference Finals last year against the Los Angeles Lakers.

With Carmelo Anthony having an outstanding season for the Nuggets and the Spurs having an erratic season, how did the Spurs do?  This is how it went down in San Antonio.

First Quarter:

The Spurs started with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Keith Bogans, Antonio McDyess, and Richard Jefferson.

Right off the tip RJ attacked the rim but did not finish. Good to see he is in attack mode. Parker got into the lane right away and hit the tear drop.  Parker continued to attack the paint to either score or set up Duncan for easy shots at the rim.  It was 12-7 the 7:11 point of the quarter.  Parker already had six points.

Again RJ attacked the rim but Nene was there to block the shot attempt. Chauncey Billups hit a three for Denver cutting the Spurs lead to 14-12.  However a nice pass from RJ to Parker for a reverse layup by Parker, upped the lead to 16-12 Spurs.  Parker continued to get in the lane causing the Denver defense to collapse which left RJ wide open for a three point shot.  It was 21-16 at the 3:40 point of the quarter.

Got to like the defensive effort RJ did on Melo.  He was forcing him off his dribble and when Melo did get into the lane, RJ was there to make a good foul to prevent the easy layup.  It was athleticism vs. athleticism.

With seconds left in the game, Manu stole the Denver in bound pass but JR Smith blocked his dunk attempt.  To compound it DeJuan Blair picked up his third foul.  But leave it to George Hill to his a last second shot to close out the quarter.  At the end of the first quarter it was Spurs 30, Nuggets 23.  The Spurs went on a 9-2 run at the end of the quarter.  Leading the way was Tony Parker with eight points.

Second Quarter:

Spurs started with McDyess, Bonner, Bogans, Hill, and Ginobili.

Hill started things off for the Spurs with a three point shot. Manu drew the foul on JR Smith, then hit another three for the Spurs.  Great start to the quarter.  At the 9:15 point of the quarter, it was Spurs 36, Nuggets, 30.

Mason still looks like he cannot find his shot, missing a three attempt.  Also the Spurs start to turnover the ball allowing the Nuggets to go on a 7-0 run.  Duncan calms the Spurs hitting a shot over Nene and then hits a runner in the lane.  At the 5:16 point it was 45-42 Spurs with the lead.

RJ hit a three shot after the Spurs almost committed another turnover.  Melo then picks up a technical foul for complaining to the refs, sending the Spurs to the line.  RJ then had a monster block on Nene and then Duncan gets a block on Melo.  Great to see the Spurs contesting shots in the paint.  At the 1:23 point of the quarter it was 55-50, Spurs with the lead.

Parker got into the lane with a pretty spin move off a Nugget player for a layup.  At the half it was Spurs 59, Nuggets 53. Leading the way for the Spurs was Duncan and Parker with 12 points each.

The Spurs shot 52% from the field, 40% from the three point line and had seven turnovers. The Spurs bench chipped in with 25 points.

Third Quarter:

The Spurs started with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Keith Bogans, Antonio McDyess, and Richard Jefferson.

Right away Tim Duncan gets things going for the Spurs with a quick basket.  Then Duncan goes into the lane for an “and 1″ after being fouled by Nene.

Denver Nuggets were really cranking up their defense early on in the quarter. Swarming Parker and swiping at the ball.  But the Spurs were ratcheting up their defense as well.  Duncan blocked a shot and RJ stole the ball from Melo.

At the 7:27 point of the quarter it was 67-61, Spurs with the lead.  Duncan leading the way for the Spurs with all eight points for the Spurs at this point in the quarter.

RJ was showing great energy so far. Getting into the lane, finishing at the rim and hitting the three shot.  Nuggets start to get frustrated. Birdman fouls Manu on a three shot attempt to send Manu to the line for three free throw shots.

At the 2:57 point of the quarter it was 73-69, Spurs in the lead.

Turnovers again start to begin with the Spurs.  Prime example is when Manu passed the ball to Duncan, only to see the ball fly out of bounds.  However, Manu then hits a three shot.

But due to the turnovers by the Spurs, the Nuggets cut the lead to one point and at the end of the third quarter it was 76-75, Spurs with the lead.  Leading the way for the Spurs was Duncan with 22 points.

Fourth Quarter:

Spurs started with Finley, Hill, Ginobili, McDyess, and Bonner.

Early on in the quarter, JR Smith hits a three and the Nuggets take the lead, 78-76.  To make matters worse, Finley turned his ankle and went straight to the locker room.  Let’s hope he is OK.

Spurs looked flat at the beginning of the quarter. Couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end. But Parker checked into the game and started to get things going for the Spurs.  However, Nuggets rookie, Ty Lawson, got into the lane, got fouled by Parker and hit the “and 1.”  At the 5:14 point of the quarter it was 94-91, Nuggets with the lead.

Turnovers still seem to be a huge issue for this team.  At this point of the game they already committed 18 turnovers.  Luckily Parker was steadying the Spurs, hitting outside shots, getting fouled and being sent to the line.

However, the Spurs started to look out of sync.  Not boxing out Denver’s Kenyon Martin, allowing him to put back a missed Nuggets shot, committing turnovers and missing shots. At the 2:21 point of the quarter it was 101-95, Nuggets with the lead.

For as much as Parker did to keep the Spurs within striking distance, it just wasn’t enough.  Billups stole the inbound pass in the last seconds of the game and the Spurs lose tonight against the Nuggets.  Final score 106-99, Nuggets win. 

The Spurs drop to 9-8 for the season with their next game against the Utah Jazz in Utah.

Shiny Spur Award — Tony Parker & Tim Duncan
Rusty Spur Award — Antonio McDyess

Notes:

  • Spurs committed 19 turnovers for the game.  In the last three games the Spurs committed 17, 19, and now 19 turnovers.
  • Spurs shot 47% for the game.
  • Parker led the way with 27 points while Duncan dropped in 26 points.
  • Spurs bench scored 34 points for the game.
  • Reports said Finley suffered a sprained ankle and did not return to the game.
  • Antonio McDyess had yet another horrible game.  He did not score but had six rebounds.
  • Spurs went 7-21 from the three-point line shooting 33%.
  • Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Nuggets with 34 points.
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