Spurs-Nuggets Preview

Carmelo Anthony has worn just one team’s uniform since being

drafted third overall in 2003. At least for the time being, the

three-time All-Star forward continues to don the powder blue and

white of the Denver Nuggets.

With trade rumors continuing to swirl, Anthony and the Nuggets

will try ignore the distractions Thursday as they go for their 11th

straight victory at Pepsi Center in a matchup with the NBA-best San

Antonio Spurs.

Since leading Syracuse to a national championship in his one

season on campus, Anthony has been the cornerstone of a Nuggets

franchise that has advanced to the postseason seven straight years

after missing the playoffs in the eight seasons prior to his


Saying he wanted to keep his options open, Anthony declined a

three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets in June. It has

since been rumored that the Brooklyn-born free agent-to-be wants to

go to either the Knicks or Nets.

While Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri said following

Tuesday’s 111-94 victory over Orlando that no trades were imminent

and Anthony would know if he was getting dealt, rumors continue

that Anthony will not be a Nugget when the February trade deadline


Anthony denied a report last week that he had told Denver he

would only accept a trade to the Knicks. More speculation surfaced

Tuesday after the Nets acquired two more first-round picks in a

three-team swap that could be used in a package deal for the

Nuggets superstar.

“I’ve got a game here Thursday night against San Antonio and

that’s what I’m focused on,” Anthony said Tuesday after scoring 35

points with 11 rebounds. “All that other stuff, I’m not even paying

attention to right now.”

Anthony, whose career scoring average against San Antonio (20.2)

is his lowest against any team in the Western Conference, can’t

afford to get caught up in the rumors given the way the Spurs are


San Antonio (21-3) makes its first of two visits to Denver this

season after capping off a 6-0 homestand Wednesday with a 92-90

victory over Milwaukee.

Manu Ginobili hit the game-winning fallaway jumper over Luc Mbah

a Moute as time expired.

“It was a tough shot,” Ginobili told NBA.com after scoring a

team-high 26 points. “He guarded me really well. … I got lucky. I

made the shot. We all celebrated.”

The Spurs, who will return home for three games following

Thursday’s matchup, are 8-1 on the road, falling 90-85 to the Los

Angeles Clippers in their last game away from AT&T Center on

Dec. 1.

Denver has a league-best 45 home wins since the beginning of

2009-10 and is on the verge of its first 11-game winning streak at

home since a 12-0 stretch March 16-April 19, 2005. However, San

Antonio went 2-0 when visiting the Nuggets last season, winning by

19 points each time.

The Spurs won the most recent of those meetings 104-85 on April

10 behind Tim Duncan’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony was

ejected in the fourth quarter for arguing with officials.

Ty Lawson will likely start at point guard for the Nuggets in

place of Chauncey Billups, who missed Tuesday’s victory with a

wrist injury.

San Antonio hosts Denver next Wednesday.