31 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks, 2 steals, 9-of-10 free throws, and just 2 turnovers in 40 minutes of play.
The above numbers were produced by San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan on Wednesday in the Spurs’ 112-106 loss to the Denver Nuggets, just a day after the Spurs fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The first, second, and fourth quarters were all competitive by the Spurs, but basketball is a 48-minute game for a reason as the Spurs’ most inefficient quarter Wednesday, the third, is what ultimately led to the teams fourth loss in five nights.
Manu Ginobili (16 points), Patty Mills (15 points), Tony Parker (13 points), and Tiago Splitter (10 points) did what they could as well, but the 12-minutes of the third where the Spurs were outscored 35-27 was just too much to overcome.
Here’s the rundown of the Spurs’ loss to the Nuggets Wednesday in which the team didn’t just give up after going into the fourth quarter down by 15 points.
First Quarter: Spurs 28, Nuggets 26
Turnovers: Spurs 3, Nuggets 7
Rebounds: Spurs 7, Nuggets 20
3-point shooting: Spurs 3/6, Nuggets 1/4
Both teams came out scoring in the first quarter, but late in the quarter the Spurs managed to momentarily gain a six-point lead. Andre Iguodala (14 points) and the Nuggets would strike back quickly to tie the game in the final minute, but a Ginobili basket was the last to end the quarter. Though the Nuggets turned the ball over excessively, their ability to grab seven offensive rebounds gave them the opportunity to keep pace with the Spurs.
Second Quarter: Spurs 48, Nuggets 55
Turnovers: Spurs 9, Nuggets 10
After taking care of the ball in the first quarter, the Spurs turned the ball over six times in the second as the Nuggets scored (mainly dunked) easy baskets off a majority of those turnovers. The passing wasn’t crisp on the perimeter for the Spurs’ wing players as their passes were usually deflected by Nuggets defenders.
Rebounds: Spurs 17, Nuggets 33
The Nuggets continued to out-rebound the Spurs in the second, but the Spurs did do a better job in matching them as they were only outrebounded 13-10. Duncan had nine of the Spurs’ 17 rebounds by half.
3-point shooting: Spurs 6/12, Nuggets 2/5
The one constant element that kept the Spurs in the game was scoring 18 points from beyond the arc. Without the scoring of the three pointers, the Spurs might have found themselves down double-digits by the half. Five of the Spurs’ 10 players who saw action in the first half hit at least one three pointer in-between the two quarters.
Third Quarter: Spurs 75, Nuggets 90
Turnovers: Spurs 12, Nuggets 11
The Spurs took much better care of the ball, but they struggled out in the open court to stop the Nuggets from speeding up the tempo on them. At one point, the Spurs had to go to the “Hack-A-McGee” as the team began intentionally fouling JaVale McGee (10 points) to slow the Nuggets’ offense down.
Rebounds: Spurs 33, Nuggets 50
3-point shooting: Spurs 9/23, Nuggets 5/16
Though the three ball kept the Spurs in the first half, the Spurs’ bench looked gassed as they began to shoot three-after-three that looked flat shot after shot. After attempting 11 three pointers in the quarter, the Spurs only connected on three of them.
Fourth Quarter: Spurs 112, Nuggets 106
Turnovers: Spurs 14, Nuggets 15
Rebounds: Spurs 45, Nuggets 58
3-point shooting: Spurs 14/36, Nuggets 7/19
Mills, Duncan, Parker, Stephen Jackson, Ginobili, Boris Daw, and Danny Green all did what they could in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs get the Nuggets’ lead down to three points late in the game, but in the end the Nuggets always found an answer whether it was a step-back Danilo Gallinari (28 points) three pointer, or Ty Lawson (12 points) drawing contact and going to the free throw line.
With the loss, the Spurs have now dropped their last four-of-five games. The team’s record falls to 19-8 on the season as the team is once again facing back-to-back losses. The team will fly home and will have two days off before resuming play against the visiting New Orleans Hornets on Friday.
(Photo: Yahoo! Sports)
These players played below par against the Nuggets - Neal, Green, Diaw, Jackson, DeColo, Bonner and Blair and Joseph did not play. With 6 players barely contributing how could the Spurs hope to win games? Almost singlehandedly TD kept them afloat but after the 1st quarter it was clear they will lose. Both the Thunder and Nuggets have new, tall, aggressive and young players. Both have been engaged in upgrading their lineup while, the Spurs stagnated and using old set plays. What would you expect? Unless drastic measures like upgrading the lineup, expect more trouble. They may still make to the post season but will be eliminated in the ist round.
@rtesoro440 Calm down. Thunder lost Harden, where's the upgrade? Kevin Martin?Jeremy Lamb who's getting play time in the D-League? You say drastic measures that's funny Spurs have had the best record in the West 2 years in a row and you talking about some drastic measures. 1st round exit to who? The key is being healthy enough to play in the postseason. What happened last year? Spurs made it to the Western Conference Finals, and guess what? It can happen again. But I guess only a True Spurs Fan would believe that.
@rtesoro440 Green, Jackson, and De Colo were all very effective yesterday... Just because they don't score points doesn't mean they weren't effective.
@spurs123What do we count, "effective" or scores? Green played first five and he showed nothing and so did Jakson. The case of deColo maybe different 'coz he's new. Come on, at least of these guys really played lousy basketball. Admit it! Green with all the playing time managed only 3 points. Neal had too many miscues. He was practically inexistent on defense like Bonner. The Spurs were better without Jackson. They were winning wthout him.
@rtesoro440 @spurs123 First off don't ever assume you are going to get great defense from Matt Bonner. Give him credit though the man tries and sometimes he pulls of some good defensive plays. Bonner is a good shooter not a defensive magician. But did you really say the Spurs were Better without Stephen Jackson? Really? Richard Jefferson wasn't doing much on this team but acting like a Punk. He was struggling offensively and defensively. If Jack struggles offensively at least he tries to make up for it on the defensive end. With Jack we got too the Western Conference Finals, With Jefferson a 1st round exit. Jackson is a better shooter, defensive player, and a tougher competitor. Did you forget Stephen Jackson helped us win a title in 2003 against Richard Jefferson? We were winning when we had Jack and are Winning now that he's back. 2 games away from the NBA Finals remember that? He almost gave us a shot to come back home for game 7, Did you forget that? I know I didn't. That Number "3" is something else.
Tiago has been fantastic, and Neal is terrible. When his shot isn't on, he's a negative to the team. He turns it over a ton and he plays bad defense. He's essentially a smaller Bonner that turns it over way more.
@spurs123 Tiago has been playing pretty good lately. He's improved a lot. He could grab more boards but nonetheless he's doing a pretty good job. Neal is not terrible. Who isn't a negative to their team when their shot is not there offensively? The thing is you know if he get's hot it's on. Defensively mean he tries that's all you can ask from him. What's wrong with Bonner though? Bonner can shoot. Gary Neal can shoot. That's their job shoot the ball. Sometimes it goes in Sometimes it doesn't. But remember Gary Neal hit a lot of those Clutch shots for us when we needed him to do it even when he was struggling during games. As far as turnovers they happen especially when someone continues to dribble the ball. But if you really want to talk about turnovers look at Jeremy Lin and Russell Westbrook. They average more turnovers than Gary Neal.