With only seconds left to play, Carmelo Anthony appeared to make the game-winning basketball, giving the Nuggets a 114-113 victory. But it was for naught, as the referee's arm went up and called charge of Anthony. After a review to see if time should be put back on the clock and some angry words from George Karl, the referee put 0.4 seconds back on the clock. The Spurs won 113-112 on a Manu Ginobili shot with four seconds left. It was Ginobili's second game-winning shot in as many days, as he hit the game-winner in the Spurs' victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 31 points and nine rebounds. Arron Afflalo added 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Ty Lawson continues to fill in for the injured Chauncey Billups, scoring 15 points and making seven assists. Nene contributed 19 points and five rebounds.
For the Spurs, Tim Duncan led the team with 28 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Tony Parker added 24 points and nine rebounds. Manu Ginobili recovered from a poor first half and finished with 16 points.
The highlight of the night was J.R. Smith's flying dunk to close out the first quarter. It has dunk of the year written all over it.
The San Antonio Spurs improved to 22-3 on the season and are on a seven-game win streak. The Denver Nuggets fell to 15-10 and lost their second home game of the season (a 10-game home win streak was snapped). They host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m MT.
At the end of the first quarter, the Denver Nuggets held a 37-28 lead over the Spurs. However, San Antonio battled back with strong first halves by Tony Parker (18 points, seven assists) and Tim Duncan (14 points, nine rebounds, four blocks). As a team, the Spurs are shooting 51.2 percent.
Ty Lawson continues to start in place of the injured Chauncey Billups. He has nine points, two rebounds and two assists so far. Nene has added nine points and four rebounds.
The Spurs’ Manu Ginobili has only three points on 1-of-6 shooting (1-of-5 from three-point range). He missed a three-point shot at the buzzer, missing an opportunity to tie the game.
Besides facing the top team in the NBA, the Nuggets must also face increasing rumors and innuendos about where Carmelo Anthony will be at the end of the year.
On Tuesday, as the Nuggets were beating the Orlando Magic, a Denver television sports reporter Tweeted that a Melo to New Jersey Nets trade had been finalized. After the game the media stormed the Nuggets locker room asking Melo and his teammate their thoughts on the trade.
There was no trade and the Tweet has since been deleted, but this is a good example of the circus that is surrounding the Nuggets these days.
Now they have to concentrate on facing the team with the NBA's best record, the Spurs (20-3). Led by a cast of familiar faces, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson, the Spurs do the right things on the court to win. Though not flashy, coach Gregg Popovich teaches his players how to play the game right, and their execution is almost flawless.
For Denver to win they need great games out of leading scorers: Melo, Nene, Al Harrington and J.R. Smith. Ty Lawson also needs to continue his hot streak, which should be aided by his role as the starting point guard in light of the injury to Chauncey Billups.
Denver (15-9, 11-1 home) has not lost at home since a 102-101 defeat on November 3rd to the Dallas Mavericks.
Tonight's game tips at 8:30 and can be seen nationally on TNT or regionally on Altitude.