San Antonio Spurs (24-24, 12-7 road) at Denver Nuggets (32-18, 16-9 home)
- Time: 6 PST – 8 CST – 9 EST
- Place: Ball Arena, Denver, Colo.
- TV: Bally Sports Southwest, Altitude Network, NBA League Pass
The San Antonio Spurs are plummeting into play-in game atmosphere as they have last eight out of their last 10 and three in a row. They are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference as they are one game off of Memphis for eighth and five games off of Portland for a solid sixth place.
Denver won last night over Detroit and is one back of the Clippers for third in the West. The Nuggets have won six in a row and 10 out of their last 12 games. The Nuggets are 3-4 this season on the second game of a back-to-back.
San Antonio won the first meeting, 119-109, behind 30 points and 10 assists from DeMar DeRozen on Jan. 29. DeRozen made 11-of-14 shots while Dejounte Murray scored 26 points. Nikola Jokic led all scorers with 35 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets while Jamal Murray popped in 20.
- San Antonio – Keita Bates-Diop – (hamstring) – Day to Day – Trey Lyles – (ankle) – OUT Dejounte Murray – (foot) – Questionable Lonnie Walker (wrist) – OUT
- Denver – Jamal Murray – (knee) – OUT
Vs. The Spread:
- The Spurs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio’s last 6 games
- San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 road games
- Denver is 5-1 ATS in it’s last 6 games
- The OVER has been the play in 5 of the last 6 Nuggets-Spurs games
- Denver is 8-1 SU in it’s last 9 home dates vs. the Spurs
Last Time Out:
Cleveland bombs San Antonio, 125-101, on Monday night with a 43-point third quarter although Demar DeRozen continued his hot streak with 20 points as he has scored 20 or more in 10 of his last 13 games. Keldon Johnson recorded his second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Nuggets dismantled the Pistons, 134-119, behind 27 points in 27 minutes from Nikola Jokic. Coach Michael Malone got 25 from Michael Porter, Jr. and 24 from Will Barton as the Nuggets rested most of their starters for most of the second half. The Nuggets are 6-0 since the trade that brought Aaron Gordon over from Orlando.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|San Antonio Spurs||+7 (-109)||+256||O 222 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||-7 (-111)||-306||U 222 (-110)|
Advantage, San Antonio:
The Spurs are grasping at straws with a struggling defense as they have given up an average of 127.2 points over the last five games. In addition, opponents have scored 132 points or more in four of the last eight. The Spurs will try to take advantage of Jamal Murray being out of the lineup, but we saw last night that the Nuggets have a next man up mentality as Will Barton netted 24 while making 10 of 16 field goals. Malone is looking for a better defensive effort as the Pistons shot 54.3 percent last night.
Key Spurs Stat:
Breaking down the Nuggets’ defense and trying to score in the paint will be the way San Antonio can get back on track as the Spurs take 61.1 two-point shots per games (2nd/NBA) and make 31.1 (3rd/NBA). This will help San Antonio find triples from Patty Mills and Derrick White as well.
Coach Gregg Popovich hopes that Dejounte Murray can rejoin the team and contribute as he was out in the loss to the Cavaliers. In the five games before, he averaged 17 points and 5.6 assists as he is a key on both ends on the floor with 70 steals, good for sixth in the NBA.
The Nuggets are a tough matchup as their consistent movement makes them a tough team to defend. Even with Jamal Murray out for another game, running the offense through one of the best passing big men in the history of the league in Jokic gives the Nuggets scoring opportunities with their depth. He averages 8.6 assists while the Nuggets are third in the NBA with 27.2 dimes per game.
Key Nuggets Stat:
Aaron Gordon will look to bounce back from scoring only nine points in 22 minutes last night. Gordon should be able to fit into an even higher scoring responsibility with Murray down as he is shooting 37.1 percent from long distance. He must take care of the free throw line where he makes only 62.1 percent this season.
With the Spurs struggling so much on the defensive end of the floor, the Nuggets can make this ugly with their arsenal of weapons. Monte Morris on the outside or Paul Millsap or JaMychal Green could step up and have big nights beside of the usual Nuggets. Morris has scored 10 points in each of his two games back from injury while Green and Millsap fit in as role players who can rebound or score.
Winner: Nuggets (-7) 121, Spurs 106