Official Nuggets at Spurs Game Thread (7:30)
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- Fatigue from a West Coast trip appeared to play a role in a rare home loss for the San Antonio Spurs this week.
Now having spent some time back in town, the Spurs will seek a better performance Saturday night when they welcome the Denver Nuggets, who were victorious in their most recent visit to the AT&T Center.
San Antonio (7-2) was poised to add to its strong start to the season Thursday against New York, taking a 12-point lead well into the fourth quarter after Tiago Splitter scored all 13 of his points in a 2:38 span. The Spurs, though, gave up 27 points in the final seven-plus minutes en route to a 104-100 loss.
They missed seven of their final nine shots and committed turnovers on back-to-back possessions in the final two minutes. The game came two nights after an 84-82 win over the Los Angeles Lakers capped a four-game road swing.
"I think we ran out of gas," coach Gregg Popovich said. "Guys busted their butts but they didn't have enough in the tank after that road trip. We definitely got tired."
The loss was only the third in 25 home games for San Antonio, including the playoffs. The Spurs' 67-11 home record in the regular season since the start of 2010-11 is easily the NBA's best.
One of those losses came in the Nuggets' most recent visit, 99-94 on March 4. Ty Lawson had team highs of 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as Denver beat the Spurs for the second time in nine meetings.
Lawson was held scoreless for the second time in 109 career starts in a 98-93 home loss to Miami on Thursday. He had a potential go-ahead shot waived off due to an offensive foul midway through the fourth quarter after Denver (4-5) had trailed by 19 earlier in the second half.
"We just have to move on to the next game," said guard Andre Miller, who had a season-high 19 points. "It was a game that we definitely needed to win before we go out on this three-game road trip."
The trip includes visits to Memphis and Minnesota next week for a Nuggets team which plays 17 of its first 23 games on the road, where they are 2-4 and needed double overtime to secure one of those wins. They've allowed more than 100 points in four road games and not once at home.
Spurs star Tony Parker is averaging 15.8 points and 10.0 assists in home games, well above his numbers on the road. He's averaged 21.8 points on 59.2 percent shooting in his last five matchups with Denver.
His point guard counterpart, Lawson, has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four visits to San Antonio. Andre Iguodala has averaged 20.4 over his last five games there.
Nuggets teammate Kenneth Faried posted a fifth straight double-double Thursday with 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. The second-year forward now goes up against Tim Duncan, who had a season-best 14 boards Thursday and has blocked 15 shots over the last four games.
The status of San Antonio's Gary Neal is unknown. The reserve guard cut his right index finger while lifting his luggage before Tuesday's win and was limited to eight minutes in that game before sitting out Thursday
I assume Jackson starts,
Spurs might have some trouble earlier with this physical team Nuggets, but I expect Spurs to adjust & redeem themselves from the last game loss and play better tonight.
Spurs TEAM Defense Wins!
Go Spurs Go
Strange Lineup in the last 8 minutes:
Bonner...Don't stray too far from the 3-point line
Frontcourt...Blair and Diaw
What a GREAT win for the Spurs without Leonard!!!!
That was not an easy game to win because those Nuggets were very confident and never gave up. They kept grinding and trying to come back.
What a HUGE effort by TD to establish the LEAD earlier. Tim Duncan does not like losing and you can never get him to accept any loss. He refuses to let this team lose and he enforced the Spurs lead earlier. WAY to go TD!!!!!
GREEN and TONY were both fantastic.... They both had so much FUN!!!!
It was almost like a TEXT Book. All team was clicking and on the same GEAR!
As much as I liked Blair starting, Tiago played very well from the bench and he made bigger impact with his few minutes on the court than Blair despite Blair getting 19 points and 8 rebounds. It is all about being SMART and making the right decisions and TIAGO is getting to better doing those and I am loving that!!
Props to Manu for a GREAT GAME. And to Captain JACK for a Very well Done Game! Jack also played very well the last game. Jack is such a wonderful fit here we are lucky to have him!!!!
Now this NICE W vs Nuggets should set Spurs on the right track to face those MIGHTY Clippers on Monday Night!!!! That is TEAM D at its best if they only can do it vs Clippers for 48 min!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
Pop mentioned at the before game interview with Bill Land that Neal had tried to play with his shooting hand injured and he would ask them to play him, but the tape got loose (by Neal :wink) and then the injury get worse... So they told Neal to stay off playing until it completely heal because it could get much worse with playing exposed... So Neal will be back soon I guess. Meanwhile let the other reserves enjoy playing time it is a long season! :wink
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