Wednesday , May , 02 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets try to stay alive in San Antonio

(Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs can deliver the knock out punch to
the Denver Nuggets, as the teams battle tonight at the AT&T Center in Game 5
of their first-round playoff series.

The Spurs lead this best-of-seven series 3-1. If necessary, Game 6 is
scheduled to be played on Friday at the Pepsi Center.

On Monday, Robert Horry’s three-pointer with 30 seconds left gave No. 3 San
Antonio the breathing room it needed in a 96-89 victory over the sixth-seeded
Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals
series.

Tim Duncan finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, while Tony
Parker totaled 15 points and Manu Ginobili contributed 18 points off the
bench.

Allen Iverson ended with 22 points and seven assists in the loss for Denver,
but was just 9-of-25 from the floor. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 29
points, while Nene recorded 18 points and seven rebounds in defeat.

The Nuggets have lost five straight games when facing elimination from the
postseason. They have dropped three straight Game 5s in the playoffs.

San Antonio has won two of its last three contests when it has the chance to
eliminate its opponent from the postseason. The Spurs have won six straight
Game 5s in the playoffs.

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 fell 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.

DEN SAN