The first half of the game between the Spurs and Nuggets was played similarly to the Spurs' last 14 wins. The passing was crisp and the Nuggets had difficulty scoring. On one play, Ty Lawson got a steal and went coast to coast, but Manu Ginobili stayed with him and blocked his shot. Lawson is one of the fastest players in the NBA, but Manu kept up with him for the length of the court. The Spurs backups also contributed, on one play Baynes erased Mosgov and drew a charge.
The second half was a different story as the Spurs threw the ball away of their first two possessions and continued to help the Nuggets get within striking range. The Nuggets helped their own cause as Aaron Brooks got hot shooting threes and Darrell Arthur made several long shots to bring the game close.
The Spurs continued to play sloppily into the 4th quarter, but when the Nuggets cut the deficit to 4, the same Spurs who've led the team for years steadied the team by making key buckets down the stretch. Kawhi Leonard contributed a key block and the Nuggets were able to match the Spurs but they couldn't get any closer as the gritty efforts the Spurs star players matched their intensity and maintained the lead.
The two teams play in Denver on Friday, and the Nuggets will be brimming with confidence after thoroughly outplaying the Spurs in the third and fourth quarters. Expect Friday's game to be a tough one, as the Nuggets are always a handful on their home court
Odds and Ends:
Danny Green left the court and headed to the locker room in the third quarter with what was described as a mid-foot sprain. No news on the severity of the injury, but he probably won't travel with the team to Friday's game in Denver and his presence will be missed. He was playing very well and made several key three point shots to help build the lead, including a buzzer-beater at the end of the 2nd quarter.
Is Daye-sanity over? Austin Daye got a cup of coffee in the first quarter and had a quick turnover. He didn't see any action again until 1:33 left in the second quarter and only had a few missed shots and a foul to show for his time on the court.
Today is Leonard Nimoy's 83rd birthday, and it's only fitting that we gently arch an eyebrow skyward in recognition of his accomplishment of living long and prospering for so many years.