Nuggets 112, Spurs 106By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Dec 18, 2012 11:40 PM EST
DENVER -- Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 28 points, Kenneth Faried added 19 points and 11 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets survived a big night from Tim Duncan to beat the San Antonio Spurs 112-106 Tuesday night. Duncan scored 31 points, his season high, and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Spurs, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Manu Ginobili had 16 points for San Antonio. The Spurs trailed 98-83 before they made it a game with a 12-2 run late in the fourth quarter. Patty Mills hit two 3-pointers, Duncan scored eight points and Tony Parker hit a 3-pointer to pull the Spurs within 105-102. Gallinari hit with a 3-pointer and Andre Miller a 17-footer to make it 110-102 with 2:36 left. The Spurs hit two more buckets and had a chance in the final 30 seconds to get closer, but they missed three 3-pointers in a row before Miller's two free throws sealed it. Denver led by seven at the break and quickly extended the advantage to double digits in the third. Faried converted a three-point play and Gallinari hit a 3-pointer to spark an 8-2 run that made it 63-50. The lead grew to 72-55 when Lawson had a steal and a layup. The Spurs tried to climb back into it by fouling JaVale McGee four times in the last 2:32 of the third. Down 82-69, San Antonio decided to put the 7-footer on the line, where he made just two of eight foul shots, giving the Spurs an opening. However, San Antonio missed five shots at the end of the quarter, including one that was blocked by McGee, and Denver stretched the lead to 90-75 heading into the fourth. The game was tied at 44 midway through the second quarter when the Nuggets pulled ahead. A long jumper by Gallinari and a steal and dunk by Andre Iguodala gave the Nuggets a four-point lead. Gallinari hit a running 10-footer and a free throw to extend Denver's lead to 55-48 at intermission. NOTES: Ginobili was back in the lineup after missing Monday's loss to Oklahoma City with a bruised left quadriceps. He has missed four games overall. ... Nuggets coach George Karl is an admirer of Duncan. "He knows how to get shots without the offense getting run through him," Karl said before the game. "If you want to run the offense through him, he'll be glad to take that responsibility, but he's an orchestrator of the game as much as he is a scorer of the game. Other than the great shot-blockers, he's the best defensive big guy I've ever seen play basketball." ... Nuggets guard Ty Lawson and forward Faried were hampered by cold and flu symptoms, but they were in the lineup. However, Denver forward Anthony Randolph was inactive due to a sinus infection. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thinks McGee will flourish under Karl. "He's learning to play basketball. It's good for him to be with George because George will demand things from him and teach him," Popovich said. "If the kid has character, he'll get better."
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