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Game Preview: Nuggets-Spurs

Denver and San Antonio square off for second time in three days

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried is sixth in the NBA with a .550 field goal percentage.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets couldn’t end San Antonio’s 14-game winning streak. In a quirk of the NBA schedule, they now have a chance to snap the Spurs’ 15-game streak.

Two days after their fourth-quarter comeback fell short in San Antonio, the Nuggets face the Spurs again on Friday night at Pepsi Center.

“We are seeing the team in a weird back-to-back kind of way,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “It’s almost like a little mini (playoff) series. “We’ll see if we can make any adjustments to what they did.”

Behind a monster game from Tim Duncan, the Spurs built a 24-point lead after three quarters and then held off Denver in the final few minutes. The Nuggets drew within four points twice in the fourth quarter but complete the rally.

“It was about raising our level and not being in awe,” Denver guard Aaron Brooks said. “I think defensively we amped it up. We created turnovers, got out and ran and played our ball. That’s what happened in the second half that was different.”

Brooks finished with 25 points off the bench. He is averaging 15.2 points and 7.4 assists in his past five games.

“We’re in a big learning process right now,” Brooks said. “Training camp started for us now, and it’s about playing hard and developing chemistry like the Spurs. So we can use this as a chance to progress.”

In addition to Brooks, Denver forward Kenneth Faried also continues to play well. In 15 games in March, he is averaging 19.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.


SPURS AT NUGGETS


WHEN:
7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

PROBABLE STARTERS
DENVER (32-40)

F Quincy Miller
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

SAN ANTONIO (55-16)
F Kawhi Leonard
F Tim Duncan
C Tiago Splitter
G Danny Green
G Tony Parker

INJURY REPORT
DENVER:
Jan Vesely (ribs) is a game-time decision; Wilson Chandler (groin), Danilo Gallinari (knee), J.J. Hickson (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (knee) are out.
SAN ANTONIO: Matt Bonner (calf strain) is out.

SERIES NOTES
The Nuggets have lost 10 out of 15 overall games to the Spurs, with five losses coming at Pepsi Center . . . By going 0-2 at home and 2-0 on the road against San Antonio in 2009-10, it marked only the second time in team history that a season series finished with those results – the other being 1994-95 against the Lakers . . . The most points Denver has ever scored in a half as a member of the NBA came at San Antonio on 11/7/90, scoring 90 in the first half . . . On the flipside, the fewest points Denver has ever scored in a half also came in San Antonio on 11/27/02, tying a team record with 22 points in the first half, including a team record low three points in the first quarter . . . The Spurs have put up big numbers against the Nuggets themselves, setting a team record with 91 points in the second half at Denver on 1/11/84, including a team best 53 in the fourth quarter alone.