Spurs take season series from Nuggs, 2-1
SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 107-103 on Monday night in the second meeting between the teams in four days.Tony Parker added 16 points and Manu Ginobili scored 13 and had a career-high 14 assists for the Spurs.Allen Iverson led Denver with 28 points despite a broken finger. J.R. Smith added 22 points and Carmelo Anthony contributed 18.The Nuggets beat San Antonio in Denver on Friday, ending the Spurs’ season-high 11-game winning streak.
San Antonio snapped a two-game skid and tied the Los Angeles Lakers at the top of the Western Conference. The Nuggets have lost two in a row and are just outside playoff contention in ninth place in the West.Iverson has a non-displaced fracture in the tip of his right ring finger. He hurt the finger on Friday against the Spurs. An X-ray detected the injury on Monday.The Spurs were up 84-80 going into the fourth quarter, but they wouldn’t keep the lead for long – the teams were tied six times during the final period.Smith, up against Duncan, made a tough reverse layup to break an 88-all tie with 7:25 to play, and Eduardo Najera soon followed with a dunk that would put the Nuggets up 92-89. But neither team could pull away.
Kenyon Martin tied it at 100 with 2:18 to go before the Spurs took the lead for good. Duncan hit his eighth and ninth free throws of the night and new addition Kurt Thomas made a crucial basket to make it 104-100 with a minute to play.The Nuggets missed two shots on their next possession, and Ginobili hit two free throws after being fouled by Smith with 23 seconds left. Bruce Bowen hit one of two free throws with 16 on the clock to make it 107-100, and Smith’s three-point play came too late to matter for Denver.The Nuggets led by as many as seven in the third before the Spurs went on a 16-5 run to close the quarter and take an 84-80 lead with one period to go.Matt Bonner’s long 3 from the top of the arc made it 80-77 with 1:37 to go, giving the Spurs their first lead since early in the quarter.
Smith’s dunk with less than a minute left in the quarter quieted the crowd, but only briefly. San Antonio’s Michael Finley promptly hit a 3 from the corner with 42.8 seconds to go, giving San Antonio an 83-79 advantage.Iverson’s finger didn’t appear to be bothering him much. He hit back-to-back 3s for the Nuggets late in the first half, helping give Denver a 58-55 halftime lead. Iverson led all scorers at the break with 11 points. The Spurs were up 27-23 after one. Notes: The Spurs won the season series 2-1. … Nuggets C Marcus Camby got a technical foul with 6:13 left in the third quarter. … Anthony got a technical with 2:51 to go in the third after a backcourt turnover during the Spurs’ run.
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