San Antonio Spurs Win 50th Game By Defeating Denver Nuggets
The San Antonio Spurs secured their 16th straight 50-win season on Friday night, blowing out the Denver Nuggets 123-93 at home.
The Spurs led by 20 points at the end of the first quarter as a result of an offensive onslaught which saw San Antonio score 45 points in the period. The team never looked back after that point, leading by as many as 37 points on their way to a 30 point win.
San Antonio might have even won by more than 30 points had Pop not limited his starters floor time, playing each of the five no more than 25 minutes.
Although the Spurs did come away with the win, there was some bad news in the middle of it as Tiago Splitter left the game with a calf injury.
Now that the game is over, let’s take a look at our studs and duds of the game, along with key statistics.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green finally bounced back following a string of a couple three point games. The former Tar Heel played with a chip on his shoulder on Friday, contributing 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the win. Even more impressive, Green finished the game 6-of-6 from deep. He also picked up a steal and a block, adding to his impressive numbers. Did I mention he only played 21 minutes?
The Nuggets seemed doomed from the start of this game as they fell behind early. That did not stop Danilo Gallinari from having a good individual night, however. The Italian forward helped stopped what could have been even more bleeding by scoring 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. While Gallinari is not usually known for his defensive intensity, he was able to pick up two steals.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
While most of the Spurs had great shooting nights, one that did not was Patty Mills. The Australian guard struggled to get it going offensively, ending the game with two points on 1-of-7 shooting. The good news is for San Antonio, however, is that even though Mills was awful scoring-wise, he impacted the game in other ways with his four assists, two rebounds, and two steals.
Ty Lawson‘s inability to guide the Denver offense early may have been the biggest factor in this game for the final result turning out the way it did. Lawson was able to pick up seven assists but turned the ball over three times. The former first-round pick was also atrocious in scoring the ball, finding his way to only seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.
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11: That’s the difference in rebounds for both teams, favoring the Spurs. The Nuggets are one of the league’s best rebounding teams with an average in the top-10. San Antonio did a great job boxing out which allowed for the decisive advantage. When you shut down a team’s best weapon, chances are high that you will come away with the win.
67: That’s the number of points San Antonio received from the bench. It was another great night for the reserves who picked apart the Denver defense. The Spurs have currently won six games in a row and the bench is a big reason for that, especially the last two games.
37: That’s the biggest lead the Spurs had in this game. Anytime you create a lead that big, there’s a good chance you are going to win the game. The fact that the Spurs were able to maintain a 30 point lead at the end of this game was even more impressive. When this team comes together as a unit as it did on Friday, they are arguably the best team in the league.