Lawson helps Nuggets deal Spurs rare home defeatMar 5, 2012 - 6:54 AM Denver Nuggets held on to take a 99-94 decision over the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center.
Al Harrington added 16 points and Arron Afflalo finished with 14 for the Nuggets, who earned their third straight win.
Tony Parker had 25 points and seven assists, while Tim Duncan contributed 14 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, which lost for the third time in five games.
"[Parker] was great. He did a great job of keeping us in the game, scoring and moving the ball like he has all year long," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili returned from a five-game absence because of an oblique strain and recorded eight points, five assists and four rebounds as San Antonio lost for just the third time at home this season, falling to a 14-3 record in San Antonio.
Denver held a 49-45 lead at the half, but the Spurs recorded the first four points of the third quarter for the first tie score of the contest.
But a pair of Corey Brewer free throws followed by Lawson's three-pointer put the Nuggets back on top and they would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Spurs stayed in striking distance in the third quarter, trailing by no more than eight points en route to a 75-71 deficit entering the fourth quarter.
Hamilton opened the final period with a trey to put the Nuggets ahead by seven, but San Antonio answered with Richard Jefferson's shot from beyond the arc and T.J. Ford's jumper to get within two, 78-76.
The Spurs stayed within two possessions for the rest of the game as the team's traded buckets in the fourth quarter.
After a Parker layup brought the Spurs within 95-92 with 1:34 left in the game, Andre Miller missed a fadeaway jumper at the other end and Duncan was fouled while grabbing the rebound.
Duncan missed both of his foul shots, but Afflalo's short jumper was no good on the Nuggets' ensuing touch and Duncan quickly slammed home a dunk to make it a 95-94 game with 29.9 seconds showing.
Lawson's pull-up jumper from a foot inside the three-point line at the top of the key with 11.1 on the clock kept it a one-possession game.
But Gary Neal missed a potential game-tying shot from the right wing coming out of a timeout and Lawson sank a pair of game-sealing foul shots to give Denver the victory.
"Tonight I think we were as fundamentally solid as they (the Spurs) were. They are just one of the most fundamentally tough teams to beat," Nuggets head coach George Karl said. "We never lost our belief and faith that we could win the game."
The Nuggets started the game hot, opening the contest with an 11-2 run to jump out to the early lead.
San Antonio responded with a 13-4 spurt to close the gap to 19-15 on Ginobili's three-pointer past the midpoint of the first quarter, but Denver closed out the first with a 6-2 swing to take a 25-17 advantage into the second quarter.
That lead ballooned up to as much as 16 in the second quarter before the Spurs stormed back.
After Miller's layup capped a personal 6-0 spurt that put the Nuggets ahead, 40-24, almost four minutes into the second, Parker recorded 12 points in a 21-6 run that brought San Antonio within one, 46-45, with less two minutes left in the half.
The Spurs would not score again in the half, though, and Timofey Mozgov made 1-of-2 foul shots before Lawson sank a pair of free throws to give the Nuggets a 49-45 lead at the break.
Denver improved to 11-9 on the road this season...Brewer finished with 12 points for Denver...The Nuggets outscored San Antonio in the paint, 34-32...Denver held a 49-40 advantage on the glass.
- DENVER: 99
SAN ANTONIO: 94
Mar 5 12:09 AM
- DENVER: 75
SAN ANTONIO: 71
End of 3rd
Mar 4 11:29 PM
- DENVER: 49
SAN ANTONIO: 45
Mar 4 10:41 PM
- DENVER: 25
SAN ANTONIO: 17
End of 1st
Mar 4 10:04 PM
- DENVER: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 4 9:41 PM
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