Wilson Chandler hit a go-ahead jumper with 29.3 seconds remaining and the Denver Nuggets (43-29) beat the San Antonio Spurs (57-14) 115-112 at the Pepsi Center.
The Spurs played their first game since losing Tim Duncan indefinitely to a left ankle sprain in Monday night’s night win over the Golden State Warriors.
Rookie center Tiago Splitter got the start in place of Duncan and had a quiet night, scoring four points and stayed on the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
It’s time to look at the numbers that stood out in this Spurs’ loss.
88.5 – The Spurs shot 23-of-26 (88.5%) from the free throw line, including 4-of-4 from Richard Jefferson. The Nuggets had a huge edge on free throw attempts but did not take advantage of it, making only 25-of-39 (64.1%) of their foul shots.
57.1 – The Nuggets shot very well from the beyond arc, making 12-of-21 (57.1%) three-point goal attempts while the Spurs went 13-of-32 (40.6%) from behind the arc.
50.6 - Denver connected on 39-of-77 (50.6%) shots from the floor while San Antonio made 38-of-88 (43.2%) of their field goal attempts.
45 – The Spurs won the rebounding battle, outrebounding the Nuggets 45-42.
38 – San Antonio had a good inside game, outscoring Denver 38-32.
27 - Al Harrington had a game-high 27 points and added three rebounds, two assists and one steal for Denver.
25 – Gary Neal led the Spurs with 25 points, including 6-of-8 from the three-point line.
21 - The Nuggets dominated in transition, outscoring the Spurs 21-2 on fast break points.
20 – Manu Ginobili added 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block for San Antonio.
19 - Tony Parker chipped in 19 points, five assists and two rebounds for the Spurs.
18 - J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton added 18 points each for Denver.
13 - Antonio McDyess had a double-double for the Spurs scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 boards while Danilo Gallinari added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Nuggets.
8 – DeJuan Blair scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and had two assists and two blocks off the Spurs’ bench. Nene had eight points and 10 rebounds while Chandler had eight points including the go-ahead basket and added six blocks and four rebounds for Denver.
7 - Matt Bonner and George Hill scored seven points apiece for San Antonio.
0 – McDyess, Bonner and Hill had zero turnovers for the entire game.
Rookie Watch: Neal had 25 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of action, Tiago Splitter had four points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in his second start of the season, James Anderson did not play.
Game Notes: The 69 point total by the Spurs in the first half was three shy of their season high. After providing impressive shooting during the last two games, Steve Novak did not get any playing time against the Nuggets.
What’s Next? The Spurs will visit the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden on Friday.
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