Spurs knock out Nuggets to move to semifinals
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan poured in 23 points and grabbed
12 rebounds, as San Antonio delivered the knock out punch to Denver, with a
93-78 victory in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Michael Finley erupted for a career playoff best 26 points on 8-of-9 shooting
from three-point range for the Spurs, who won the best-of-seven series, 4-1,
after dropping the opening game.
“I was feeling it just a little bit,” said Finley after the game. “Every shot
I took felt good. I am just glad we were able to close things out. We stayed
focused in the second half and I think that was the difference.”
Tony Parker added 16 points and dished out 10 assists for San Antonio, which
will face the winner of the Phoenix Suns/Los Angeles Lakers series in the
second round of the playoffs.
Carmelo Anthony had 21 points and seven boards for the Nuggets, who have been
eliminated four straight years in the opening round of the postseason.
Allen Iverson netted 21 points on 6-of-22 shooting from the field in defeat.
Trailing four points at halftime, the Spurs outscored the Nuggets 19-11 in the
third quarter to take a 63-59 advantage into the final frame.
San Antonio opened the fourth quarter on a 10-4 run to extend its lead to
73-63. Finley and Robert Horry each drained three-pointers during the surge.
Consecutive shots from beyond the arc from Iverson made it 77-71 with just
over seven minutes left to play.
The Spurs answered with five straight points, including a triple from Finley,
to go up 82-71 with about six minutes remaining.
Denver was able to cut its deficit to eight, but the Spurs put things away
down the stretch after Finley sunk a three from the left corner and Parker
scooped in two to make it 91-76.
Behind nine points from Finley on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from three-point
range, the Spurs led 25-21 after the opening quarter.
Denver, down by as many as 11 points in the second stanza, ended the quarter
on a 17-2 run to take a 48-44 lead into halftime. Steve Blake drilled three
shots from beyond the arc during the surge.
Blake had 12 points at the break while Anthony paced the Nuggets with 14.
Duncan and Parker each had 10 points at halftime to lead San Antonio.
The Spurs have won seven straight Game 5s in the playoffs…Finley set a new
San Antonio playoff record for his eight three-pointers made…The Nuggets
have lost six straight games when facing elimination from the postseason. They
have also dropped four straight Game 5s in the playoffs…San Antonio shot
47.5 percent from the field while Denver shot 37.7 percent…Marcus Camby had
just four points, but pulled down a game-high 19 rebounds in the loss for the