Duncan, Ginobili rest, Spurs still dominate Nuggets

December 26, 2015

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs showed off their depth -- at the Denver Nuggets' expense.

Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and San Antonio rebounded from a rare loss to beat Denver 101-86 on Saturday night to remain perfect at home.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both sat out after playing big minutes in a tough loss Friday night in Houston. Eight players scored at least eight points in the latest blowout victory at home.

"If you make one mistake, it's over," said Denver guard Foye said, who had nine points and five assists. "We're talking about Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker being together for 13 years, but even the new guys, you make one mistake (and you're in trouble). You try to deny someone, it's a backdoor. You go under, it's a 3). You go over the top, it's a 2-on-1 going downhill. That team is good."

San Antonio extended franchise-record home winning streak to 26, including a record 17 open this season.

The Spurs got off to a sluggish start, shooting 37 percent in the opening quarter.

It was the lone member of the Spurs' Big Three that enabled the bench to get extended minutes.

Parker had a 19-foot jumper and layup off a steal that gave San Antonio a 43-31 lead with 4:21 remaining.

"First quarter I had some good looks, they just didn't go in," Parker said. "The game was tight and I just tried to be more aggressive in the second quarter and make sure we get a good lead."

Parker had all 13 of his points in the second quarter on 6-for-8 shooting. He had a steal near midcourt and sprinted in for a layup that was part of a 22-9 run that began midway through the second.

"Whether he's been struggling or not, we know we're going to see (Parker) in a ton of pick-and-rolls," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "I thought we had a pretty good game plan discipline trying to keep him out of our paint as much as possible, but give their other guys credit."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 points and nine rebounds and Boris Diaw had 16 points. Boban Marjanovic had 10 points and David West added 10 points and six assists starting in place of Duncan.

"Give their bigs credit," Malone said. "I think LaMarcus, David, Boris those guys are a load. They do a great job of ducking in and getting paint catches. They manhandled us a few times in the paint."

San Antonio finished 7 for 10 on 3-pointers.

Denver, which was without starters Danilo Gallinari and Emmanuel Mudiay, trailed by double digits throughout the second half.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets, scoring 22 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Will Barton added 16 points and Gary Harris was the only starter in double figures with 10.


Nuggets: Malone said the chances of Mudiay and Gallinari playing prior to Denver's game against Golden State on Jan. 2 are "slim to none." Mudiay has a sprained right ankle and Gallinari has a sprained left ankle. ... The Nuggets' last win over the Spurs was 96-86 on April 10, 2013 in Denver.

Spurs: San Antonio is 6-0 in the second game of a back-to-back, winning each by double digits and an average margin of 17 points. ... The Spurs are 2-0 when West starts in place of Duncan.


Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has made it a point the past few seasons to rest veterans Duncan, Ginobili and Parker, but rarely has sat 33-year-old Diaw.

"I think it's because Pop wants him to lose weight," Parker said about his friend and fellow Frenchman. "But I have to give credit to Bobo though he's been playing very well and been taking care of his body. He's looking good and he played great tonight."

Diaw sees his lack of rest differently.

"Why would I? I'm so young," he said. "I'm same age as Tony, but I don't age as much as much as they do. I stay young."


Nuggets: At Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

Spurs: Host Minnesota on Monday night.


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