The San Antonio Spurs were tired of hearing about their struggles closing out games against the other 7 Western Conference playoff teams. Playing arguably their best game of the season Thursday night, they defeated the Denver Nuggets 111-92 before a national audience and a hostile Denver crowd.
DeJuan Blair and George Hill were the leading scorers for San Antonio with 17 points each, 7 different Spurs scored at least 10 points. The defense found ways to frustrate the Nuggets all night, holding them to 39 percent shooting including only 3-15 from the 3 point line.
San Antonio led the entire game and was able to limit the high flying Nuggets to only 6 fast break points.
Roger Mason, filling in for an injured Tony Parker scored 14 points in 34 minutes as the Spurs moved to within a game and a half of idle Dallas for 1st place in the Southwest Division.
Game thoughts: This was, of course, the way I said things would happen. Oh, this thing archives posts? Well, to say I didn’t see this one coming was an understatement. The team, however, played brilliantly. I don’t want to overstate a win right before the All-Star break, but this game and you could tell on the court, meant more to the Spurs than it did the Nuggets.
Player of the game: DeJuan Blair – 17 points, 9 rebounds in 21 minutes
Another great performance for Blair, who out hustled Chris Andersen. I guess you could say he grounded the “Birdman.” I’m fully aware of how corny that is.
The Matthew Svoboda Player of the game (awarded to the player whose game that most closely resembled mine during my playing days): Theo Ratliff – 0 minutes played
Much like I did in my middle school days, Theo Ratliff sat the bench like an old pro. I’m supremely confident that he would have been ready had he been called upon to play.
Play of the game: (tie) Roger Mason hitting a 3 to put the Spurs up 72-58 and taking the Nuggets out of the game and JR Smith missing a layup.
Thought to leave you with: In an alternate universe is there a bizarro Richard Jefferson that’s clean shaven and with a full head of hair?