San Antonio (53-14) at Denver (38-30)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Wed Mar 22, 2006
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Antonio Spurs look to extend their winning streak to six games when they visit the Denver Nuggets to begin a five-game road trip.

The Spurs lead Dallas by a half-game in the Southwest Division and have the best record in the Western Conference. San Antonio is tied with the Mavericks for the best road record in the conference at 23-10.

San Antonio has won four of its last five road games.

This is the last road trip of two games or more for the Spurs, who beat Golden State 107-96 on Tuesday night to conclude a stretch where they played five of six games at home.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the third quarter after getting two technical fouls. It seemed to spark the Spurs, who outscored the Warriors 49-33 after that point to pull away for their fifth straight win.

“We played with more energy in the second half,” said reserve guard Beno Udrih, who scored 13 points. “(Popovich) got the technicals and that’s when we said ‘Let’s go, guys. Let’s pick it up,’ and we got the win.”

Udrih, who has stepped up after Nick Van Exel went on the inactive list with soreness in his left elbow, is averaging 10.4 points on 53.1 percent shooting in his last eight games.

Manu Ginobili returned to the lineup on Tuesday and scored 10 points after missing Saturday’s win over Houston with a strained left calf muscle.

San Antonio—which is 13-2 since the All-Star break—also plays Portland, Seattle, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers on its road trip.

The Nuggets wrapped up a seven-game road swing with a 109-94 victory over New Orleans on Saturday. Denver went 5-2 on the trip to take control of the Northwest Division, which it now leads by 5 1/2 games over Utah.

“We played with a pretty intense, constant rhythm the whole seven games. It’s going to be something, hopefully, that we can build on and get stronger,” Denver coach George Karl said Saturday. “The energy in the first quarter got us confident enough. … Our start sort of flattened them a little bit.”

Marcus Camby sat out the game with a left knee strain, and an MRI on Monday was negative. The center, averaging 13.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks, is questionable for Wednesday’s contest.

“That’s the most impressive thing about this road trip, not knowing who’s going to play every night, then win five out of seven. That shows the maturity of this ball club,” said Kenyon Martin, who had 17 points after missing the previous two games. “A couple of months ago … we probably would have been 2-5. Guys are growing up.”

Carmelo Anthony was named the Western Conference player of the week after averaging 31.8 points on 57 percent shooting as the Nuggets went 3-1.

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