NBA-best Spurs beat An­thony-less Nuggets

The Pak Banker - - International -

SAN AN­TO­NIO: Manu Gi­no­bili and Gary Neal scored 22 points apiece, and the San An­to­nio Spurs won their 10th in a row, 109-103 over the Den­ver Nuggets, who were with­out All-Star Carmelo An­thony on Wed­nes­day night be­cause of death of his sis­ter.

The Spurs reached their sec­ond dou­ble-digit win­ning streak al­ready this sea­son and im­proved their NBA-best record to 25-3. It ranks among the 11 best starts to a sea­son in NBA his­tory.

Ty Law­son and J.R. Smith led the Nuggets with 22 points apiece, and Kenyon Martin played 17 min­utes in his sea­son de­but af­ter missing the first 26 games while re­cov­er­ing from knee surgery.

The Nuggets said An­thony will re­turn af­ter Christ­mas. Their next game is Christ­mas Day at Ok­la­homa City.

Richard Jef­fer­son scored 16 points and rookie Ti­ago Split­ter had 12 points and nine re­bounds in his most mean­ing­ful game yet with the Spurs.

San An­to­nio trailed 89-80 at the end of the third quar­ter, but Den­ver shot 17 per­cent in the fourth and made just two field goals in the fi­nal 5 ¼ min­utes.

It de­nied the Nuggets re­venge af­ter a sting­ing loss to the Spurs back home a week ago. That's when An­thony's ap­par­ent win­ner with 0.3 sec­onds left was waived off by of­fi­cials, who said he bar­reled over Gi­no­bili be­neath the bas­ket.

Gi­no­bili hit the win­ner in Den­ver, and he also had a big shot in this one. He stopped dead in his tracks on a fast break with 2:48 left to knock down his fourth 3-pointer, giv­ing the Spurs the lead for good.

Den­ver had taken the lead thanks to Smith, who made his first start in three sea­sons in An­thony's ab­sence.

He scored all 16 of his sec­ond-half points in the third quar­ter and was 4 of 7 from be­hind the 3-point line. -Ap

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