Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 10/29

Game 1: Wednesday, October 29th
Spurs72Final
Nuggets80
Game 2: Monday, January 5th
Spurs98Final
Nuggets74
Game 3: Saturday, February 28th
Nuggets92Final
Spurs117
Game 4: Wednesday, April 14th
Nuggets67Final
Spurs93

Nuggets 67

 

Spurs 93

 

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 14, 2004

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 21 12 16 1867
    SA 13 19 32 2993

    Top Performers

    Den: E. Boykins 9 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    SA: T. Duncan 23 Pts, 16 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Spurs' record will top Pacific champ's

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs, the worst free-throw shooting team in the NBA, saved themselves at the foul line on Wednesday night's season finale against Denver.

    The Spurs scored 16 of their 32 first-half points against the Nuggets from the line, keeping them in the game until their shooting could kick into gear in the second half of what became a 93-67 victory.

    It was the 11th straight win for the Spurs, who finished with a season-high 53 free throws and made 36 of them.

    "Bad first half, great second half, playoffs start Saturday," summed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose third-seeded team hosts No. 6 Memphis in the opener.

    San Antonio, trailing by a point at the break, doubled its first-half total by scoring 32 points in the third quarter while holding the Nuggets to 5-for-19 shooting for 16 points in the period. Denver scored only 34 points in the final two quarters.

    "In the third we came out really aggressive and I thought our defense stepped up," Tim Duncan said. "Things seemed to go well after that."

    Duncan had 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, and Tony Parker had all 11 of his points in the third, nine of them from the line.

    The Spurs led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter.

    Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said his team was pushed around the court by San Antonio and that he hopes the players learned from that.

    "They had 53 free-throw attempts and I felt a lot of those were a result of our defensive mistakes," he said. "I think that's where our guys have to understand the physicality that's going to happen in the playoffs."

    San Antonio, the NBA champion, came into the game with an outside chance to win the Midwest Division title. But Minnesota took the division and the top seed in the Western Conference by beating the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

    The Timberwolves will meet No. 8 Denver in the first round.

    Carmelo Anthony, guarded mostly by perimeter defender Bruce Bowen, led the Nuggets with 12 points, but shot only 5-for-15. Three of his baskets came in the fourth period.

    Andre Miller had 11 points for Denver, and Nene and Rodney White 10 points apiece. Marcus Camby and Jon Barry did not dress for the Nuggets.

    Camby said Denver will be ready for Minnesota.

    "Everyone here is excited about getting started in practice tomorrow," he said. "We know going in no one is giving us a shot at winning. We'll just have to go in there and try to earn some respect."

    San Antonio made only three baskets in the first quarter -- one by Duncan and two by Robert Horry -- and just five more in the second. But thanks to 16 free throws, the Spurs trailed only 33-32 at the break.

    The Spurs, who shot 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) in the half, trailed by 10 points early in the second before they went on an 11-2 run to cut the difference to 29-28 on a short jumper by Jason Hart.

    A dunk by Duncan briefly gave San Antonio the lead at 32-31 in the final minute, but Earl Boykins, at 5-foot-5, responded with a high-arcing jumper over the 7-foot Duncan with 3.9 seconds remaining to put the Nuggets back on top.

    Anthony went 1-for-5 in the half for two points.

    Game notes


    San Antonio has held the Nuggets to 78.3 points in four games this season, nearly 20 points below their season scoring average. ... The Spurs are 30-4 in April over the past four years and 55-14 in the month since Duncan's arrival in 1997-98. ... Denver's Mark Pope, activated before the game, scored his first basket of the season on a breakaway layup in the fourth. ... The Nuggets finished the season 1-10 on the road against Midwest opponents and 11-13 overall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DEN
    SA
    Points 67 93
    FGM-FGA 27-83 (.325) 28-66 (.424)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 1-10 (.100)
    FTM-FTA 11-18 (.611) 36-53 (.679)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-47 13-58
    Assists 11 15
    Turnovers 18 18
    Steals 7 12
    Blocks 1 9
    Fast Break Points 3 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 34 (0/1) 23 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Denver
    San Antonio
    Earl Boykins Boykins
    Points: 9
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 23
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3