The only breaks the Denver Nuggets can catch lately are injury related.
The Nuggets have lost six of eight, including the first two on a season-high six-game homestand. The news grew worse Thursday when the team learned Camby would be sidelined for 1-to-2 weeks, and maybe longer.
Camby, the NBA’s leading rebounder with 12.9 per game, underwent successful surgery on his broken right pinkie. He injured the finger against Golden State on Monday.
“I was trying to persuade the doctor that I could keep playing with it,” he said. “He was like, ‘No.’ I would risk further injury to myself and neither one of us would have wanted that.”
The injury limited Camby to six minutes on Tuesday in a 108-106 loss to Philadelphia, and he was unable to play on Thursday as the Nuggets lost 112-105 to Seattle.
Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points in that defeat, getting held to two in the final 18 minutes. He’s averaging 31.2 points in his last 11 games.
The Nuggets are 14-16, the same record they had through 30 games last season. That team went 35-17 the rest of the way and made the playoffs under Karl, who knows the Nuggets have to stay afloat in a tough Western Conference to make another run.
“I think a big part of basketball is perseverance and that’s where we’re at,” Karl said. “I mean, we’re not going to win 10 in a row, but we can persevere through to win enough games to stay in the hunt and stay in the fight, and I think we’re going to do that.”
San Antonio is 17-4 since Nov. 25, but every loss has been on the road.
The Spurs have won two straight since falling to Detroit in a rematch of the NBA Finals, beating Indiana 99-86 on Tuesday and routing New Orleans 111-84 on Thursday.
That marked the Spurs’ largest margin of victory this season, and came just 11 days after they were embarrassed by the Hornets in an 89-76 loss.
“It was an unspoken motivation for us against them tonight,” said Michael Finley, who scored 18 points and made all four of his 3-point attempts. “They beat us pretty well at their place, and we just wanted to establish ourselves early and often, and I think we did that.”
“I am not trying to rush anything right now,” Ginobili said. “In the first quarter, I pushed my offensive (play). I just wanted to see where I am at now.”
Ginobili has struggled in 11 career games against the Nuggets, averaging 10.1 points while shooting 32.2 percent from the field.
San Antonio is 19-6 on the road and 43-10 overall against Denver since 1994-95.