NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 18th (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (19-7) at Denver Nuggets (13-12), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets haven't had too many chances to defend their home court this season, but have had success in a handful of games at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets play just their eighth home game of the season on Tuesday night as they try to extend the San Antonio Spurs' road skid to four straight games.
Denver played its 18th road game of the campaign on Sunday, picking up a 122-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings. JaVale McGee led six Nuggets players in double figures with 19 points, while Danilo Gallinari added 18.
Jordan Hamilton had 15 points and Andre Iguodala approached triple-double territory with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Denver, which never looked back after building a 64-46 halftime lead and set a season high for points in a game.
"I think the energy was good, but the defense I think motivated us to play the right way the whole game," Nuggets coach George Karl said.
Coming off a home triumph over Memphis, Denver won for the third time in its last four games and stands at 7-11 on the road this season. The Nuggets opened the season with 17 of their first 23 on the road and 22 of their initial 32 games of the campaign are away from Denver.
The Nuggets, though, will play a stretch of 15 of 18 at home starting on Jan. 1 and bring a 6-1 record at the Pepsi Center into this meeting. That includes a victory in four straight as the host.
Denver has lost four of its past five at home against the Spurs and eight of the last 10 encounters overall. That includes a 126-100 setback in San Antonio on Nov. 17, with Gallinari highlighting the loss with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Manu Ginobili paced six Spurs in double figures with 20 points and four assists versus the Nuggets, but his status for tonight's meeting is unknown due to a bruised left quadriceps suffered in Saturday's win over Boston.
Ginobili did not play in Monday night's big meeting with fellow Western Conference powerhouse Oklahoma City and the Spurs were bested by the Thunder 107-93.
Tony Parker had 14 points and seven assists, while Nando De Colo also had 14 points for the Spurs, who have dropped three of four following their 18-4 start. All three of those setbacks were on the road.
San Antonio was outscored 29-16 in the third quarter as Oklahoma City broke open a close game.
"I think just mistakes on our part," said the Spurs' Tim Duncan of the third- quarter struggles. "All in all, I think we got a little stagnant in the offensive end."
Duncan had 12 points and five boards in the setback.
While Ginobili sat out Monday's loss, forward Stephen Jackson returned after missing 14 straight games due to a broken right finger. He had five points in 19 minutes of work.
12/18 10:37:20 ET