Nuggets set NBA record with 3-point first

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- This is one game the Denver Nuggets would
like to forget.

Stephen Jackson scored 22 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs
to an easy 99-68 victory Wednesday night over the Nuggets, who set
an NBA record by scoring just three points in the first quarter.

"It was crazy. It was a brutal first quarter,'' Denver's Juwan
Howard said. "We couldn't score, we couldn't hit shots. We turned
the ball over and we didn't do anything to help ourselves. Before
the game, we repeatedly said let's start out fresh. Obviously, it
didn't happen. You know, we just got blown out.''

Denver missed 14 consecutive shots after taking a 2-0 lead and
trailed 21-3 after one period. The three points broke the previous
first-quarter record of four scored by Sacramento on Feb. 4, 1987,
against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Not much you can say,'' Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We
didn't make a lot of shots down the stretch and they really played
great defensively. We just couldn't rebound from that intensity.''

The three points also tied the mark for the second-lowest
quarter in NBA history.

"For someone to score three points in a quarter you have to
play good defense, but undoubtedly they had to shoot poorly,'' San
Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Scoring three points in a
quarter isn't going to happen often.''

Tim Duncan scored 20 points and had 14 rebounds for San Antonio,
which snapped a two-game losing streak. Tony Parker added 13, and
Steve Smith 12.

Chris Andersen scored 12 points, and Nene Hilario 10 for Denver,
which beat San Antonio the previous night in Colorado but had a
three-game winning streak snapped.

After jumping out to its large first-quarter lead, San Antonio
coasted to a 46-22 halftime advantage as Duncan had 14 points and
10 rebounds in the first quarter.

After shooting 1-for-16 in the first, the Nuggets hit only nine
of 38 first-half shots and tied a franchise record for fewest
points in a half with 22.

"I've never seen anything like it before, it wasn't pretty,''
said 14-year NBA veteran David Robinson. "And defensively, that
wasn't even our best basketball but it was much better than last

San Antonio went on a 13-0 third-quarter run to increase the
lead to 66-30 with 5:11 to play in the period on a jumper by

The Spurs outscored Denver 27-18 in the third quarter and led
73-40 going to the fourth. Denver could get no closer than 26 in
the fourth.

"It was a great effort out of the gates, certainly after last
night,'' Duncan said. "Defensively, everything was near perfect.
Practice this morning certainly helped in that effort. It got the
bad vibe out of us.''

Game notes
The Los Angeles Clippers also scored three points in the
second quarter against the Lakers on Dec. 14, 1999. The record is
two points scored by Dallas in the third quarter of a game on April
6, 1997, vs. the Lakers. ... The 22 points allowed in the first
half was also a San Antonio team record. ... San Antonio evened the
season series after losing to the Nuggets the previous night in
Denver 85-81. ... The Spurs are 18-4 against the Nuggets since Tim
Duncan joined the team. ... San Antonio improved to 7-2 this season
in the new SBC Center. ... In 16 games, San Antonio has allowed
only one team -- Portland on Nov. 9 -- to shoot better than 50
percent from the field. Denver shot 35.5 percent from the floor on
Wednesday. ... Duncan's double-double was his ninth of the season
and 296th of his career.

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