The Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs made a trip back to the 1970s Wednesday night – well at least for the first half.
Then the Nuggets took advantage of the Tim Duncan-less Spurs and turned their attention to San Antonio’s other two stars, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, in the second half and took them out of the equation.
After scoring 18 points in the first half, Ginobili struggled against the Nuggets trapping and switching defense and only shot 1-for-6 shooting in the second half for only two points. Parker was a little more productive and actually spread out his 19 points and five assists, but wasn’t aggressive enough to lead the Spurs to victory.
It was the Nuggets bench that came up big for Denver. Al Harrington and JR Smith each scored 14 points in the first half. Smith finished with 18, but struggled to stay in front of his defender.
Harrington played arguably his best game of the season, scoring game-high 27 points – but getting a case of the sticky hands in the fourth quarter.
Raymond Felton leadership, shooting and defense came up big for the Nuggets. Felton did his best to shutdown Ginobili in the second half and finished the game with 18 points and eight assists.
- Nene wasn’t aggressive offensively and finished with only eight points, but he did grab 10 rebounds and three steals.
- Kenyon Martin did a good job switching on defense and didn’t have a bad arsenal on offense.
- Danilo Gallinari shot the ball well against the Spurs and hit a pair of treys. He also finished the game with seven rebounds.
- Wilson Chandler wasn’t as crisp on offense and scored only eight points, but was arguably the Nuggets best defender. He had six blocks in the game, including blocking a Ginobili trey. He also played key defense down the stretch on Parker.
- Ty Lawson didn’t have a great game, but he did a great job at mirroring Parker. He had 12 points and seven assists. He also had zero turnovers.
- Chris Andersen played only five minutes.
With only 10 games remaining in the season, the Nuggets are only four games behind where they were last season.