DENVER, Nov. 26 (Ticker) -- It didn't take long for Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs to have the Denver Nuggets feeling ill.

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Duncan scored 10 of his 23 points in a decisive game-opening run as the Spurs cruised to an 89-75 victory over the Nuggets, who played most of the game without flu-ridden Kenyon Martin.

The Spurs wasted no time establishing their superiority. They never trailed, scoring the first eight points and building a 23-6 lead in the first eight minutes.

Duncan had a lot to do with the hot start as the two-time MVP worked over Marcus Camby, who looked like he needed some help from Martin. But the All-Star forward was not feeling well and called it a night midway through the first period, leaving Denver without its best two-way player.

"They have three other capable big guys," Duncan said. "It really didn't change much of what I wanted to do."

"Martin is a heck of a player and he gives them a lot of energy," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It made things easier on us, that's for sure."

"We missed Kenyon Martin tonight, but we have no excuses," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "Other people need to step up."

San Antonio toyed with Denver after the opening spurt, never letting the lead dip below seven points. The Spurs used surges at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third period to answer rallies by the Nuggets and maintain control.

"We started pretty well," said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who scored 16 points. "When our defense is there, it makes it a lot easier to make some shots."

Duncan made 10-of-15 shots and collected 13 rebounds and six blocks, backstopping a defensive effort that held the Nuggets to 34 percent (28-of-82).

"The defense was the key from the beginning to the end of the game," Popovich said. "For us, that was the ballgame."

Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who had won the first four games of their five-game homestand. Denver has lost 13 of its last 15 meetings with San Antonio.

"It was an ugly loss," Anthony said. "It was tough to come back against a team like that."

Andre Miller made just 1-of-10 shots and Nene was 2-of-10 for Denver, which fell to 1-5 when shooting below 40 percent.

"When you don't shoot well from the perimeter and don't shoot well in the paint, you are going to struggle," Bzdelik said.

The Nuggets closed to 40-33 in the second quarter before Ginobili scored seven points in a 13-4 surge that closed the first half and gave the Spurs a 53-37 advantage. Denver opened the third quarter with eight sraight points, which an Antonio immediately answered with 10 in a row.