Denver Nuggets 92, San Antonio Spurs 111
Thursday night’s contest between the Spurs and Nuggets, the last game on the NBA’s slate before All-Star Weekend, had the feeling of a Friday afternoon class leading into Christmas vacation.
The Nuggets simply wanted the time to fly by so they could get started on celebrating the occasion. The fourth quarter dragged on like the last 15 minutes of that class, with the Nuggets left wondering if the teacher was going to let everyone out early.
And the Spurs were the annoying kid who kept asking questions.
After a competitive first quarter, San Antonio’s reserves clamped down on the defensive end in the second. The Nuggets managed just 16 points in the second quarter and went into halftime down nine to the Spurs, 54-45.
Denver made a small run early in the third quarter, but the Spurs withstood it and countered with a streak of their own to push the lead into double-digits. From there, the Spurs battled to an enthusiastic 111-92 win heading into the All-Star break.
Without Tony Parker, who was missing with an injured hip and suspiciously not on the bench during the game, George Hill lead the Spurs with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Conversely, he also managed to commit five turnovers.
A total of seven players scored in double figures for the Spurs, but the key to the game was three-point shooting. San Antonio shot 9-19 (47.4%) from three and held Denver to 3-19 (15.8%) from beyond the arc.
It was a quality win against a playoff-bound team, something tough to come by this year, but the game lacked a sense of urgency. Spurs fans should enjoy the night, but not take too much stock in the result. This team still has a ways to go.