Two nights ago, Danny Green torched these same Nuggets for five first-half three-pointers before leaving the game with a foot injury, and his contributions played a big part in helping the Spurs to a 20-point halftime lead. The Spurs withstood a ferocious second-half comeback led by Kenneth Faried to secure the win, but it seemed that a substantial portion of the momentum between the two teams belonged to Denver.
I'll be honest, I had my doubts about this game. Home-and-away sets can be difficult, and the thin air of the Pepsi Center has earned its menacing reputation for visiting teams over the years. The Spurs, however, had no doubts about tonight.
Pop started Marco Belinelli in place of Danny Green and, boy, did it pay off. With Denver leading 20-16 at the 3:19 mark of the first quarter, Marco checked back in to the game and promptly exploded for several deep three pointers, helping the Spurs take a 31-23 lead into the second quarter. Belinelli finished the quarter with 14 points on 4-5 shooting from downtown, two of which came in a sequence that saw Marco and Kawhi Leonard hit threes on 3 straight possessions.
Marco Belinelli and Kawhi Leonard combine to hit three-pointers on three straight possessions in the 2nd qt... https://t.co/sXOjpLG7iv— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) March 29, 2014
That spark from Marco, who finished the game with 27 points and six triples, propelled the Spurs towards a 20-point lead in the second quarter, eerily similar to that of Wednesday's game. San Antonio was rolling again. Tim Duncan was scoring on the block. Patty Mills was hitting contested jumpers. Tiago Splitter was leading the Spurs in assists. What?
On Wednesday, Kenneth Faried almost single-handedly erased the Spurs' huge lead with the energy and grit that's earned him the nickname of Manimal. He was in beast mode tonight as well, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, but the Spurs' depth ensured that the Nuggets wouldn't stage another comeback. At the end of the third quarter, the Spurs were up 97-74 and the fans at the Pepsi Center were already beginning to file out of the arena. The ensuing 12 minutes were garbage time in its purest form, including another helping of Austin Daye triples.
The highlight of the night, however, was the loud Go! Spurs, Go! chant that picked up in the stands near the end of the game. It may as well have been the AT&T Center. That raucous ovation from the silver-and-black jerseys in the Denver stands spurred San Antonio to its final margin, 133-102.
Your Spurs are 56-16 on the season and have now won 16 games in a row. Next up are the injury-riddled New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, who just lost All-Star Anthony Davis to a sprained ankle tonight.