The Denver Nuggets’ long winning streak has turned into a losing streak after Tim Duncan scored 23 points with 14 rebounds and San Antonio dominated the 3-point line in the Spurs’ 100-99 victory on Wednesday at AT&T Center.
Even though the Spurs finished 10-for-15 from 3-point distance and the Nuggets failed to hit a 3-pointer, Denver still had a chance to win. After Duncan missed an open jump shot with 10 seconds to go, the Nuggets set up after a timeout and got a driving three-footer from Andre Miller. But his contested left-handed shot bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Nuggets, who have lost consecutive games after running off 15 wins in a row, got a 21-point, 11-rebound night in 26 minutes off the bench from JaVale McGee. He shot 10-for-11 with five of his rebounds on offense and had three blocks.
THE STAT: On a night when Denver again controlled the paint (the Nuggets led 68-36 in the lane) and was successful running the floor (16-9 advantage on the fastbreak), the Nuggets were outscored 30-0 from the 3-point line. For all the things the Nuggets do well on offense (third in the league in scoring), they are 24th in 3-point shooting percentage.
TURNING POINT: Manu Ginobili was struggling through another sub-par shooting performance when he entered the final two minutes of the game shooting 3-for-8 from the floor. But he was left open near the top of the key with a minute and a half to go when Kawhi Leonard drove the lane, and when Leonard kicked the ball back out Ginobili quickly put the ball in the air. He knocked it down and San Antonio was up by five with 1:26 to go.
HOT: The Spurs missed just five of their 15 tries beyond the arc. Danny Green led the way for the Spurs nailing 6-for-8. His six three pointers set a new franchise record for a half. As we all know Green is a streaky shooter, he can be down a few games and come back with a game as he did against the Nuggets. In the past three games, he has gone 11-for-20 from the 3-point line.
NOT: Ty Lawson. Lawson did not look like himself on Wednesday night. The game did mark his first game back from a heel contusion. Lawson is shooting 46% from the floor this season, against the Spurs, he went 1-for-7, in just under 20 minutes of play.
NOTABLE: Gary Neal missed his fourth straight game as he is battling a tight calf muscle and plantar fasciitis. Tony Parker sprained his right middle finger (shooting hand) on a drive he was attempting in the third quarter.
UP NEXT: Friday (March 29th) vs Los Angeles Clippers | Sunday (March 31st) vs Miami Heat | Monday (April 1st) at Memphis Grizzlies
PG Tony Parker | 18 points, 6-of-16 shooting, 11 assists, 5 turnovers, 35 minutes
Parker did not have a good first half but did come on in the second as he paced the Spurs to a one point victory against the Nuggets. At the half he had just two points and 9 assists. Second half he was more aggressive and continued to do a good job distributing the ball. It was apparent that he wanted to be more of a scorer in the second half. A gasp from Spurs fans as they saw Parker looking and shaking his hand as he went in for a drive in the third quarter. It was later determined that he did suffer a sprained middle finger, that is on his shooting hand. It did not look to bother him for the rest of the game but you know he was thinking about it.
The defensive end, Parker did a great job holding Ty Lawson to just two points. Could this be the effect of the injury in which Lawson has been fighting………heck no, Parker is just that good.
SG Danny Green | 20 points, 6-of-12 shooting (6-of-8 3PT), 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 32 minutes
What can you say about Danny Green. His teammates were stating that it was his play that kept the Spurs on top of the Nuggets. Green set a franchise record for his six three pointers in the first half. Anyone can come to the conclusion that without those big shots from Green, San Antonio may not of had a chance. Duh, right!? As I stated above in his last three games, he has played the way that many Spurs fans are wanting to see. As much of an impact he had on the offensive side of the ball, Green did a remarkable job on Andre Iguodala. “AI” scored just 10 points in 36 minutes of play.
SF Kawai Leonard | 11 points, 4-of-7 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 38 minutes
As he has been all season long, Leonard’s play has been nothing short of outstanding. He doesn’t have to be the leading scorer on this team, what he does on the floor makes everyone better. Being tasked with stopping opponents best player, Leonard always steps up to the challenge and does a good job making their time on the floor against him miserable.
PF Tim Duncan | 23 points, 9-of-18 shooting, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, 35 minutes
TD was once again the player of the game, in my eyes, and surely many others. He notched another double-double this time bringing down 14 rebounds with his 23 points in 35 minutes of play. Is anyone surprised he is playing as many minutes as he is? I can say that I am but, he does not look tired at all game after game. Defensively, you can’t ask for anything else than what he has been doing.
C Tiago Splitter | 10 points, 2-of-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 26 minutes
Rough night for Splitter. Javale McGee came off of the bench and made it hell for Splitter. He is a monster on the boards and does not take much for him to get off the ground. He was too quick for Splitter.
Bench | 18 points, 8-of-17 shooting, 6 assists, 4 rebounds
What I was most impressed with from the bench is the play of CoJo (Corey Joseph). I am really starting to like the way he controls the game when he does get into the game. He doesn’t take many shots (2-of-3) but what he does on the floor is the way a point guard is supposed to play. He scored 5 points in 12 minutes of play. Manu Ginobili led the bench with 9 points and had a big assist in the fourth to Joseph for a three. DeJuan Blair played just six minutes, but when he checked in, here already got a rebound and a bucket. Talk about making things happen right away.