San Antonio flows with Duncan established early

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets expected San Antonio to
come out hard and fast in Game 2, and the Spurs didn't disappoint

But what did disappoint the Nuggets on Wednesday was the way
they reacted.

The Spurs made nine of their first 10 shots and then outscored
Denver by 20 points in the second quarter en route to a 104-76 win
that evened their first-round playoff series at one win each.

"Any loss like that is embarrassing," said Denver's Carmelo
Anthony, whose team shot just 36 percent. "After the first game we
expected someone to get better. They were the team that got

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be played Saturday night
in Denver, with Game 4 scheduled for Monday.

San Antonio, which lost the opener Sunday after missing 17
straight shots down the stretch, went back to basics on offense --
that is, they got the ball to Tim Duncan.

On his first touch, Duncan drove on Kenyon Martin and hit a
short bank shot. Next trip down, he backed down Marcus Camby in the
post and flipped in a jump hook.

"We had great energy in that first half, great focus coming out
of the gate," Duncan said. "Everyone came out focused and knew
the game plan. When we do that, we are tough to beat."

Establishing Duncan early created shots on the perimeter, and
the Spurs made them. They hit their first four 3-pointers, two by
Brent Barry, and they owned an 11-point lead less than eight
minutes into the game.

Camby said the Nuggets couldn't stop the Spurs or get anything
going themselves.

"The whole game was terrible," he said. "They got everything
they wanted. It made for a long, tough night."

Tony Parker scored 12 points in the first period, matching his
total for all of Game 1. He finished with 19 points.

"I knew my offense would come," said Parker, who was more
concerned about stepping up his defense on Andre Miller (31 points
in Game 1).

Duncan had 24 points, while Manu Ginobili added 17 points in 18
minutes. Barry, who started in Ginobili's place, made all four of
his 3-pointers for 16 points.

DerMarr Johnson led Denver with 12 points. Miller added 11 and
Anthony 10, while Camby had 12 rebounds.

The Nuggets, who rely on their transition scoring, had only one
fast-break basket in the game.

"We got back," Duncan said of the Spurs' transition defense.
"When the ball went up we had one or two guys on the offensive
glass. We wanted everyone else back and keep (the Nuggets) in front
of us."

The Nuggets made three of their first four shots, then missed
nine of their next 10 before a driving layup by Miller made it

Wesley Person hit a corner 3-pointer early in the second quarter
to trim San Antonio's lead to 29-21, but the Nuggets followed with
another dry spell while the Spurs piled up points.

A 10-foot jump hook by Duncan restored the Spurs' double-digit
lead with about 11 minutes left in the half. Less than four minutes
later, a short runner by Parker made it 46-25. Parker later dished
to Duncan for a dunk that extended San Antonio's lead to 30 points
with 2:27 remaining.

The Nuggets missed 13 of their 14 shots during the Spurs' 27-5

"The other day they were missing everything," Anthony said.
"You'll have days like that. There are no excuses."

San Antonio scored more in the second quarter (34) than Denver
had in the first half (32).

The Nuggets nearly doubled their points by scoring 30 in the
third quarter, and several times they cut their deficit to 19. But
each time the Spurs answered with a basket and they led 86-62 after
three periods.

Anthony made four of his five shots in the third period after
going 1-for-9 in the first half, but he sat down late in the period
after committing his fifth foul. He did not play in the fourth

Game notes
Duncan's 24 points were his highest since scoring 25
against Minnesota on March 16. ... Rasho Nesterovic played 14
minutes and Devin Brown six for San Antonio, and Eduardo Najera
played four minutes for Denver. All three sat out Game 1 with
injuries. ... Anthony is 31-for-94 (33 percent) in four
regular-season games and two playoff games against San Antonio this
season. ... After making their first 13 free throws in Game 1, the
Spurs missed five of their first six Wednesday and finished


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