|Date of game: 4/3/2015
Recap: San Antonio vs. Denver
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Danny Green led another razor-sharp performance for the San Antonio Spurs with 21 points as the reigning NBA champions rolled to an easy 123-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Green went 6-of-6 from 3-point range and made 7-of-9 shots in just 20 minutes of playing time, while Kawhi Leonard racked up 20 points in 22 minutes in the Spurs' sixth consecutive win and ninth in 10 games.
"Tonight we had a great night and Denver had a bad night," San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said. "This happens once in awhile. One team plays poorly, one plays real well and you get a blowout kind of a game. It has happened to us too. It happens to everybody."
The surge has moved San Antonio into a tie with the Clippers for fifth place in the tough Western Conference, and it now trails Houston by just two games for the top spot in the Southwest Division.
Aron Baynes matched a career high with 18 points and fellow reserve Marco Belinelli tallied 14 in the rout.
Danilo Gallinari was one bright spot in an otherwise dismal showing for the out-of-contention Nuggets, depositing 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Jameer Nelson added 14 points in Denver's third straight loss.
"They're just so good," Nuggets head coach Melvin Hunt said of the Spurs. "They're like the old Mike Tyson. They come out of that corner and start throwing haymakers early."
The Spurs put on an offensive clinic, coming out scorching hot to build a big early lead in a game they were never seriously threatened at any stage.
San Antonio hit 14 of its first 17 shots in roaring out to a 34-16 lead with 3:20 remaining in the opening quarter, while Leonard started 7-of-7 from the floor and had 15 points in the game's initial seven minutes.
A 13-2 run, during which Boris Diaw accounted for seven points, gave the Spurs a commanding 45-22 advantage with just seconds to go in the period. Their lead swelled to 60-32 with 4:12 to go in the half after Green knocked down the second of back-to-back treys.
The Nuggets were able to make some headway before the break, closing to within 67-47 at the intermission and trimming the deficit to 17 when Gallinari buried a triple to begin the second half.
Green then hit two more 3-pointers around a Tony Parker layup, igniting a 16-4 surge that quickly erased any comeback hopes. Leonard finished off the stretch with an alley-oop dunk off a Tim Duncan give to increase San Antonio's lead to 83-54 with seven minutes still to play in the third quarter.
Denver never cut the margin under 25 the rest of the way, trailing by as much as 37 points in the fourth quarter.Game Notes
San Antonio extended its NBA-record streak of consecutive 50-win seasons to 16
straight ... The Spurs ended 19-of-24 from the floor for the first quarter and
shot 65.9 percent in the first half. They made good on 14-of-34 attempts from
beyond the arc for the game ... San Antonio swept the four-game season series
and has taken the last seven meetings between the clubs ... Nuggets forward
J.J. Hickson returned to action after sitting out Wednesday's loss at Utah
with knee soreness, logging four points in 23 minutes.