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Spurs rout Nuggets to extend win streak to 16 games

By Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com

Posted March 28, 2014 23:42

From the halftime score to the big third-quarter deficit, the Denver Nuggets found themselves peering into a mirror from two nights earlier.

Unfortunately for Denver, there was no furious rally in the updated reflection.

Hoping to learn from their mistakes in San Antonio, the Nuggets struggled from the field and had no answers for the Spurs' offense in a 133-102 loss Friday night at Pepsi Center.

The Spurs scored 30-plus points in every quarter, had 37 assists on 55 field goals and led by as many as 35 points in the second half. Marco Belinelli hit six of San Antonio’s 13 3-pointers and finished with 27 points as the Spurs extended their winning streak to 16 games.

“That was an embarrassing loss just from every standpoint of the game,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “Defensively, body language, energy … just embarrassing. It starts with me just doing whatever I need to do to get our guys prepared to play and to come out and to give the energy and effort that we need, especially playing the top team record-wise.

“I felt like we competed harder on their home court (Wednesday) than we did on ours tonight. I would think that we would come out and try to fight harder to try to continue to play well at home, but it didn’t happen.”

The Nuggets trailed by 24 points after three quarters in San Antonio on Wednesday before whittling the deficit to four points. The Spurs weren’t about to let up in the rematch as the lead never dropped below 20 in the fourth.

“We let the Spurs do what they wanted,” said guard Randy Foye, who led Denver with 20 points. “You can’t win against a team like that if you don’t play good. It was basically mental errors tonight.”

The second half turned into 24 minutes of teaching moments as Shaw gave plenty of playing time to the team’s four youngest players, Kenneth Faried, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller and Jan Vesely.

Faried finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Fournier added 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

In addition to extending their own winning streak, the Spurs snapped Denver’s five-game home win streak.

The Nuggets (32-41) have five more home games remaining. They face the Memphis Grizzlies at Pepsi Center on Monday.


STAR OF THE GAME

Tim Duncan

Points 20 9-15 FG, 2-3 FT
Rebounds 8, 1 OFF 7 DEF
Assists 4
Steals 1
Blocks 2
GAME LEADERS
Points Marco Belinelli 27
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 13
Assists Tiago Splitter 7
Steals Ty Lawson 5
Blocks Three with 3
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw on 31-point loss to San Antonio

"What is there to say? That was an embarrassing loss just from every standpoint of the game. Defensively, body language, energy . . . just embarrassing. "

KEY MOMENT

Spurs gain separation late in first quarter

The Nuggets led by six points before the Spurs went on a 17-3 run over the final 4:22 of the first quarter. Marco Belinelli hit four 3-pointers during that stretch.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“What is there to say? That was an embarrassing loss just from every standpoint of the game. Defensively, body language, energy … [it was] just embarrassing. It starts with me just doing whatever I need to do to get our guys prepared to play and to come out and to give the energy and effort that we need, especially playing the top team record-wise. I felt like we competed harder on their home court than we did on ours tonight. We had a five game home win streak and obviously now they have a 16 game win streak. I would think that we would come out and try to fight harder to try to continue to play well at home, which is something we haven’t been able to do all season long, but it didn’t happen.”

On the Nuggets defense:
“We had some guys that struggled offensively but it had nothing to do with our offense, it was just straight defense. Everybody on their team scored in every possible way that they could score. The assist total, 37 to 15, says it all in itself. Offensively the ball stuck [and] there was no movement. Offensively for them the ball moved [and] found the open man at the right time and that’s why they’re 56 and 16 and we’re 32 and 41."

On how to motivate the team for the rest of the games this season:
“It’s tough. Tonight was a big setback because I thought we had been competing. We’ve been playing better as of late, obviously not as well as I would like for us to be, but we had been competing. I’ve said to the guys all along [that] If we’re out there giving it everything that we have, playing with the right energy and the right effort and we get beat, we can live with that. But tonight, it kind of reminded me of that streak we had maybe a month and half ago where we’re listless out there and just had nothing to give.”

Nuggets guard Aaron Brooks

On drawing motivation over final nine games:
“Everybody has to be professional and play hard because it’s their job and the fans deserve that. They deserve for us to go out and play the right way. Every game you’re being evaluated still.”

On San Antonio's 17-3 run to end the first quarter being the turning point:
“Yeah, but it was missed assignments, good shots, offensive rebounds, kick outs, transition 3s, but that just happens from effort.”

Nuggets guard Randy Foye

On tonight’s game:
“We let the Spurs do what they wanted; you can’t win against a team like that if you don’t play good. When coach makes substitution guys need to know the personnel of the other team, this is something coach has told us over and over again. He told us we have to get back on defense but it is basically mental errors tonight.”

On finishing the season:
“It tough and frustrating but at the end of the day I am a basketball player, I get paid to play this game and I love to play this game. I think we need to go out there on the court and finish the season strong and with a sense of urgency. We won five in a row on our home court so we can take a positive out of that but if we can play together and show effort we will be alright.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

On the win tonight:
“Playing the same team twice is always tough. Going on the road and getting it done is great. I feel for those guys [the Nuggets]. They are devastated injury wise, so it’s not a fair deal. But they busted their butts all night long. Brian [Shaw] has them going after every play and every down at both ends of the court, and doing everything they can do. There just is not enough bodies out there that are healthy. So I really feel for them. But they don’t give in. They keep playing and that is a tribute to him, his staff and their players.”

On Marco Belinelli’s performance:
“He played within himself tonight. He took good shots and I thought he moved the ball pretty well; so it worked out.”

Spurs guard Marco Belinelli:

On playing the Nuggets two games in a row:
“We played against an aggressive team. We know that we won a game at home, so coming here was difficult. I just tried to play hard at the beginning until the end because we know that they really like to run and score easy baskets. I think tonight the key was to play aggressive, don’t give up easy baskets and rebound and try to score easy baskets.”

On how it feels when shots are falling:
“It feels good for sure. It’s not just me but the whole team. They passed me the ball and gave it away when I was open. Like always, its teamwork.”

On 16-game winning streak:
“We don’t think about that. We know where we want to be. It’s good to win 16 games in a row but at the same time every day, every game we want to be a better team and try to be ready for the playoffs.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan:

On Tiago Splitter’s performance:
“Tiago [Splitter] is great. He almost had a triple-double. He’s doing a little bit of everything. I thought he was awesome.”

On playing Nuggets two games in a row:
“We respect these guys. We respect the energy they have. We respect how much energy they bring in this building. I think [Wednesday’s game] definitely woke us up. We understood that they’re not going to quit from horn to horn. So we kept our focus much better tonight. We didn’t; have a period where we relaxed and let them back into the game.”

On keeping winning streak going:
“It’s a great challenge, it’s a big challenge. People can get lackadaisical and look past certain games and we’ve done a good job of not doing that … I don’t know if [Coach Popovich] likes them as much as everybody else does. He’s a teacher. He wants to teach. He wants the good and the bads.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Randy Foye registered 20 points while shooting 4-of-7 (.571) from beyond the arc. It was his 77th career 20-point game and his 11th of the season. It was his 41st career game with 20+ points and 4+ threes in the same game and 10th time in 2014.

• Kenneth Faried posted 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists tonight. It was his 64th career double-double and 21st of the year. Faried now has 38 career double-doubles at Pepsi Center, with the Nuggets going 34-4 in those games. Additionally, his four assists tied his career-high (he has had four on three other occasions).

• Marco Belinelli scored a game-high 27 points (6-9 3FG) to go with two assists and two blocks. It was his fourth career game with six-or-more threes and his fifth career game with 27+ points (fourth time doing so on the road).

TEAM

• The Nuggets snapped their five-game home winning streak with their loss tonight while the Spurs extended their winning streak to 16 games.

• The Spurs have now won five of the last nine games over the Nuggets in Denver and 10 of the last 16 games overall.

• Tonight was the Nuggets worst home loss since they lost by 38 to Boston on 2/23/09.

• Tonight was the Spurs fifth win of the season by 30-or-more points and the third time doing so on the road. The Spurs are tied with the L.A. Clippers for most such games in the NBA.

• The Spurs’ 133 points is their new season-high as well as the most points allowed by Denver this season.

• San Antonio scored 30+ points in all four quarter tonight. It was the first time this season that Denver has allowed 30+ points in all four quarters since 12/12/10 vs. NYK.

• The Spurs shot .561 (55-98 FG) from the field, the third highest percentage by a Nuggets opponent this season. Denver is now 4-14 this season when their opponent shoots 50%-or-better.

• San Antonio was 13-of-24 (.542) from beyond the arc tonight. Denver has lost nine of their last 11 games when their opponent makes 13+ threes.