Spurs 3-Point Shooting Too Much for Nuggets in Loss at San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – In the toughest building to get a win, mistakes are magnified. Possessions are all precious. Attention to detail is always being tested.
The Spurs have played their best basketball this season at the AT&T Center. They shoot better, assist more, play tighter defense. All of those things were on display again as the Nuggets could not solve the riddle that is winning in San Antonio, dropping a 112-80 decision to the Spurs on Saturday night.
Over the course of the game, the Nuggets problems multiplied. First, it was the Spurs’ 3-point shooting. San Antonio came out on fire, hitting five of its first six shots from deep using a mix of drive-and-kick and roll-and-replace action. Players moved well without the ball, and the Nuggets labored trying to keep up.
Then, when the Nuggets stayed at home on shooters, the Spurs attacked with Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker in pick-and-roll actions, and posted up leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge. Eventually the mix of it all became too much. The Nuggets were within striking distance at the end of the third quarter, down 13 (82-69), but a 19-5 run to start the fourth quarter ended any comeback hopes.
Two Nuggets scored in double figures: Jokić, with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists; and Gary Harris, with 18 points. Will Barton added eight points, four assists and three rebounds.
The Spurs were led by Kawhi Leonard’s 19 points and eight rebounds. Davis Bertans hit six 3-pointers off the bench on his way to 18 points.
It was the second of a back-to-back for the Nuggets and the third game in four nights. They have now dropped 10 straight games to the Spurs in San Antonio, dating back to 2012. The Nuggets will get some much-needed rest with two days off before returning to action on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center against the Dallas Mavericks.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter