Duncan dominates as Spurs throttle NuggetsDec 5, 2008 - 7:48 AM By Blake Redabaugh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DENVER (Ticker) -- With the San Antonio Spurs' big three healthy and back together, it seemed like old times at the Pepsi Center on Thursday.
Tim Duncan scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures as the Spurs claimed a dominating 108-91 victory against the Denver Nuggets.
Duncan added 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks, Tony Parker poured in 22 points and Manu Ginobili contributed 21 for San Antonio, which had its dominating trio together for only the fourth time this season.
"Our focus is to get back to playing Spurs' basketball," Duncan said. "To get a win here against a team that's playing very good makes us feel like we're a little bit more back on track."
Ginobili and Parker had missed a combined 21 games due to ankle injuries as the Spurs went 8-6 to start the season with one or both players out of the lineup.
One of those losses happened on November 19 in the first meeting between these teams as Denver won easily, 91-81, in San Antonio.
This time around the Spurs took control with a dominating second quarter and never looked back.
Reserve guard George Hill's 3-pointer with 6:05 remaining in the second quarter capped a 16-2 run that gave San Antonio a 47-33 lead.
Hill scored seven points during the surge and Ginobili added five as the Spurs held the Nuggets to 5-of-21 (.238) shooting from the field in the second quarter.
"Our defense gave us a chance to win the basketball game tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "(The Nuggets) didn't have their greatest night and we were able to take advantage of it."
San Antonio went into halftime leading 61-41 as Parker finished the half with 14 points and five assists.
"It's a good win for us," Parker said. "I was aggressive, Manu was aggressive and everybody else followed."
Denver, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, never recovered as it failed to cut the Spurs' lead to single digits in the second half. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 16 points, but also had a team-high seven turnovers.
"(San Antonio) played like an angry or mad team," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We played like a happy team. We didn't meet the competitive nature of the game until the second half."
Chauncey Billups had one of his worst games since being acquired by the Nuggets on November 3. He scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting and had only four assists as Denver lost its fourth game since the blockbuster trade that sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons.
"They made a lot of great shots and they put us in the hole," Billups said. "It's tough to get down 20 (points) to a team like that and be able to come back. It can be done, but it's a tough, tough thing to do."
SAN ANTONIO 108
DENVER 91 FINAL
Dec 5 1:15 AM
SAN ANTONIO 83
DENVER 67 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 5 12:44 AM
SAN ANTONIO 61
DENVER 41 HALFTIME
Dec 4 11:52 PM
SAN ANTONIO 30
DENVER 26 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 4 11:18 PM
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