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Recap: Spurs handle the Nuggets 123-111 despite another triple-double by the Joker

Denver’s defense struggled yet again on a back-to-back. They handed the Spurs two quarters in which they scored 37+ points and could never overcome that deficit

Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets faced a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs and it resulted in a similar result. They beat the Nuggets 123-111 and continued their good play at home against the Nuggets. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic played well tonight. Joker tallied another triple double with 22 points, 10 assists, and 13 rebounds. Gordon was the high scorer for the Nuggets with 25 points as he shot 9-12 from the field with 7 free throws.

The Spurs blitzed the Nuggets in the 1st quarter and they could never recover. The defense struggled all night. They offered countless straight line drives to San Antonio’s guards, the Spurs controlled the glass, and capitalized on open three-point attempts. They out-rebounded the Nuggets 54-33 and took advantage in the paint outscoring the Nuggets 58-44. Denver falls to 1-4 on back-to-backs this season, but they will get a chance to avenge this loss as they play the Spurs again on Saturday.

1st Quarter

The Spur guards initiated their hot start early. Dejounte Murray and Derrick White both hit threes contributing to their 10-5 lead

The early shooting was great for both teams but the defense was nonexistent. Denver started 5-8 and 2-3 from three, while the Spurs shot 8-12 from the field and 4-6 from three

Although the Nugget defense couldn't find their rhythm, Aaron Gordon brought the Nuggets back within single digits with two driving layups, one of them being an and-one to close the lead 26-22

Once the bench came in, the Denver defense settled but the offense sputtered. They were not acquiring comfortable looks and the Spurs defense capitalized with some turnovers

To close the quarter the Spurs hit the offensive glass. Eubanks scored on a couple of put-backs and overall, the Spurs led 11-0 in 2nd chance points

Score: 37-29 Spurs

Scoring leaders: Barton - 9, White - 7

2nd Quarter

The Nuggets missed two wide-open corner threes along with a top of the key three, killing any offensive confidence they had. Meanwhile, the Spurs continued their hot shooting with threes from Murray and Walker as they expanded their lead to 45-32

Threes from Barton and Facu helped diminish the lead to 11, but the Spurs did not blink. They were getting inside whenever they wanted and when Denver closed the paint, they hit their open three-point opportunities

The San Antonio bench destroyed Denver. At the 6:00 mark in the 2nd quarter, their bench scored 29 points. The Nugget guards struggled mightily defending their drives with very gentle defense

The Spurs ran out to a 65-47 lead with great scoring from anywhere on the court and strong rebounding. Near the 4:00 mark in the quarter, they scored 30 points in the paint, hit 9 threes, and grabbed 26 rebounds to Denver’s 11

Following San Antonio’s second 18 point lead of the game, Monte Morris hit two threes combined with a Gordon layup which brought them within ten, 67-57

The Nuggets climbed within single digits thanks to Malone’s Hack-a-Shaq on Jakob Poeltl. He missed both free throws and picked up his 3rd foul of the half, which sent Joker to the line for two

Score: 74-65 Spurs

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 18, Walker - 14

3rd Quarter

The Nuggets went on a mini 5-0 run to get the lead within 6 as Gordon and Barton converted on two layups, but the Spurs kept hitting the offensive glass, helping to avoid any serious Nugget momentum

The game started to get more physical when Denver recognized they were not getting the calls they wanted. There were three straight possessions where Denver committed a foul which offset Denver’s offense production

Midway through the third, San Antonio grabbed their 6th offensive rebound of the quarter. To that point, the Spurs doubled the Nuggets on the boards 40-20

Aaron Gordon recorded his third and-one of the night to muscle the Nuggets within 6, 90-84. He was pshyical all night and collected timely offensive rebounds

Davon Reed and Bones Hyland entered the game late in the third, and they forced two Spurs turnovers to get the Nuggets within 4. Unfortunately, San Antonio would respond with two straight threes

Score: 100-90 Spurs

Scoring leaders: Gordon - 23, White - 19

4th Quarter

Lonnie Walker continued his solid night as he hit a three to open the quarter, but Facu and Bones answered with two threes that closed the score to 103-96

Following a Poeltl layup, JaMychal Green hit two consecutive threes which brought the Nugget deficit to only five and forced a Spurs timeout

San Antonio set great screens all night and it freed their shooters for wide open opportunities. Once Denver acquired a little momentum, they returned to the screen game and expanded their lead 113-104

As time wound down, it seemed to be one of those games where every time Denver captured some momentum, the opponent would grab it back. The Nugget offense played well despite a mediocre shooting performance but yet again their defense struggled on a back-to-back

The starters really struggled to keep anyone in front of them. The Spurs guards were aggressive towards the paint all game and the defense did not respond well

Score: 123-11 Spurs

Scoring leaders: Gordon - 25, White - 23

Silent hero of the game: Lonnie Walker IV - 21 points on 7-12 shooting and 3-5 from deep. He was second on the team with a plus/minus of +9 and also grabbed 4 rebounds along with 3 assists