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Denver at San Antonio

Spurs top Nuggets, move into tie for Western Conference lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- The Denver Nuggets ended the San Antonio Spurs' season-high, 11-game winning streak last week, but the defending champions weren't about to let that same team hand them a season-high losing streak on Monday.

The Spurs beat the Nuggets 107-103 on Monday night, avoiding what would have been only their second three-game skid of the season.

"We were more aggressive than we were Friday night," said recent acquisition Kurt Thomas, who had 13 points for San Antonio. "We were diving on the floor, getting loose balls, and the fact that we hit shots. That's something we didn't do in the third quarter on Friday."

It was the second meeting between the teams in four days. The Nuggets beat San Antonio 109-96 in Denver on Friday.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 23 points and 18 rebounds. Tony Parker added 16 points and Manu Ginobili scored 13 and had a career-high 14 assists.

"Manu stepped up and was passing the ball great -- finding people left and right," Duncan said. "So we had good efforts all the way around."

Allen Iverson led Denver with 28 points despite a broken finger. J.R. Smith scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony contributed 18.

"We just played the world champions two games and we beat them once and they beat us once," Iverson said. "I feel confident playing anybody."

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.

San Antonio is now tied with the Los Angeles Lakers at the top of the competitive Western Conference. The Nuggets have lost two in a row and are just outside playoff contention in ninth place in the West.

"We have 19 playoff games left," said Denver coach George Karl, referring to the Nuggets' push to make the postseason. "This is an incredible year. This is such a unique season. ... We're moving in the right direction. We're doing some good things."

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 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 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.

"They're a great team. Every time we play them it's going to be tough," Smith said. "We played hard today; it just wasn't enough. They're one of the best teams ever going down the stretch."

Martin scored 16 points for Denver and Anthony Carter had 10. Center Marcus Camby grabbed 14 rebounds for the Nuggets.

Bowen added 11 points for the Spurs and Matt Bonner scored 10.

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.

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 1:02 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 15 points. The Spurs were up 27-23 after one.

Notes

  • The season series was tied 2-2.
  • 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.
  • The Spurs said Ginobili got a thigh contusion and was treated for it postgame.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The Spurs' Tony Parker scores past J.R. Smith and finishes the contest with 16 points.  (AP)
The Spurs' Tony Parker scores past J.R. Smith and finishes the contest with 16 points. (AP)

Scoreboard
Denver (37-26) 23352223103
San Antonio (44-19) «27282923107
DEN:A. Iverson 28 Pts
DEN:M. Camby 14 Reb
DEN:M. Camby 4 Ast
SA:T. Duncan 23 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 18 Reb
SA:M. Ginobili 14 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioDenver

T. Duncan

A. Iverson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
231852854
Denver
A. Iverson, SG439-227-754228
C. Anthony, SF408-152-274318
K. Martin, PF317-152-550516
M. Camby, C291-51-214423
A. Carter, PG194-70-021110
J. Smith, SG299-133-561422
E. Najera, PF231-32-22234
L. Kleiza, SF151-40-05112
C. Atkins, PG120-10-00110
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
Nene, PFDid Not Play
Y. Diawara, SGDid Not Play
T. Green, PGDid Not Play
Totals 40-8517-23461822103
 47.1%73.9% 
San Antonio
B. Bowen, SF414-81-220211
T. Duncan, PF397-159-10185223
T. Parker, PG396-144-424116
M. Ginobili, SG324-114-4314213
K. Thomas, PF246-81-420513
M. Finley, SG193-61-13028
M. Bonner, PF154-81-220210
I. Udoka, SF144-111-22129
F. Oberto, C81-20-04112
D. Stoudamire, PG61-10-00212
J. Vaughn, PG30-00-01000
R. Horry, PFDid Not Play
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
Totals 40-8422-29392720107
 47.6%75.9% 
Other Games
Port 80 Final
Cle 88
Atl 112 Final
Orl 123
Bos 100 Final
Phi 86
LAC 99 Final
Mia 98
NY 79 Final
Dal 108
NJ 73 Final
Hou 91