Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Duncan-less Spurs ready for upstart Nuggets

=== Duncan-less Spurs ready for upstart Nuggets ===

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs will be without All-
Star center Tim Duncan on Saturday when they start a brief two-game homestand
against the upstart Denver Nuggets at the SBC Center.

On Thursday, the Spurs were crushed by the Dallas Mavericks, 115-91, at
AmericanAirlines Center. To make matters worse, San Antonio played half of the
game without Duncan, who left in the third quarter with a leg injury after
scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Duncan is suffering from irritation of the left patellofemoral joint and will
undergo treatment, including exercises, to strengthen his left quadriceps
muscles.

San Antonio, which will close its stand on Monday against Memphis, has won 12
of its last 16 games at home and is 19-7 in its arena this season.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, suffered their season-high fourth straight loss on
Wednesday in heartbreaking fashion, as they were on the wrong end of a 112-111
decision to the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center.

Carmelo Anthony poured in 35 points, but turned the ball over seven times for
the Nuggets. Andre Miller scored 21 points in the setback.

Denver was up by 13 midway through the final stanza, but gave it all back and
finally succumbed when Kareem Rush buried a three-pointer from the left wing
with 3.2 seconds left to make it 112-111.

Miller’s desperation three from half-court as time expired was off the mark.

Anthony, who has netted 20 or more points in 11 of his last 12 contests, is on
the verge of a milestone and needs 21 points to become the Nuggets’ rookie
season scoring leader. With 1,185 points this year, the 19-year-old phenom
passed Dikembe Mutombo (1,177 in the 1991-92 season) on Wednesday and now
trails only LaPhonso Ellis, who set the Denver rookie record of 1,205 points
in the 1992-93 season.

On the injury front, Marcus Camby played sparingly in the second half because
of a strained right groin. He is questionable for tonight’s game.

Denver, which has lost five of six and seven of its last nine on the road and
is 11-18 away from home this season.

The Nuggets will be trying for their second win in three chances against the
defending champs this season. Denver, though, has lost four of five and 10 of
the last 12 meetings overall and has dropped five straight and 12 of its last
13 in San Antonio.