Saturday , Apr , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets welcome Spurs to Pepsi Center for Game 3

(Sports Network) – The sixth-seeded Denver Nuggets and No. 3 San Antonio
Spurs resume their first-round playoff series, as they battle tonight in
Game 3 at the Pepsi Center.

This best-of-seven series is knotted at a game apiece. Game 4 is scheduled for
Monday at the Pepsi Center.

In the series opener, All-Stars Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony combined for
61 points to lead the Nuggets over the Spurs, 95-89, at the AT&T Center.
Iverson scored a game-high 31 points and Anthony had 30 points with eight
rebounds for the Nuggets, who used an 11-0 run midway through the fourth
quarter to build a 10-point lead.

San Antonio bounced back in Game 2 in front of its home crowd. On Wednesday,
Tim Duncan poured in 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Spurs held
off Denver, 97-88, to even the series. Tony Parker added 20 points and dished
out six assists in the victory.

Parker leads the Spurs in scoring (19.5 ppg) and assists (7.0 apg) in the
series, while Duncan is averaging 18.0 points, a team-best 8.5 rebounds and
6.0 assists in the first two contests versus Denver.

Anthony and Iverson have been Denver’s top two performers. Anthony is
averaging 28.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, while Iverson has collected 25.5
points and 5.0 assists against San Antonio.

San Antonio has lost three straight Game 3s in the postseason, while
the Nuggets have two of their last three Game 3s.

There is some playoff history between the Spurs and Nuggets. San Antonio beat
the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs in 1990, 1995 and 2005 and in
the conference semis in 1983, while Denver defeated the Spurs in the opening
round in 1985.

The Spurs are appearing in the postseason for the 10th straight year and have
won three of the last eight NBA championships. Last season, San Antonio
was eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by the Dallas Mavericks in
seven games.

The last time the Spurs lost in the first round of the playoffs was in 2000,
when they lost to the Phoenix Suns, 3-1.

Denver earned its fourth straight playoff berth. The Nuggets have been
eliminated three straight years in the opening round of the postseason.
They fell in five games in the opening round to Minnesota in 2004, San
Antonio in 2005 and the Clippers in 2006.

The last time the Nuggets advanced to the second round of the playoffs
was during the 1994 postseason. Denver upset the SuperSonics in five games,
3-2, in the opening round that season, but was ousted in seven games by
Utah in the Western semifinals.