Duncan, Spurs escape with 100-99 win over Nuggets

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm •  Published: March 27, 2013

The Spurs (54-17) pulled within two games of Miami (56-15) in the loss column for the league's best record. The Heat lost 101-97 at Chicago, snapping their 27-game winning streak.

San Antonio's final 15 games feature matchups against 11 playoff teams, including its next two against the Los Angeles Clippers (Friday) and Miami (Sunday).

"It's a great win to start this homestand here," Duncan said. "We've got some really tough games this part of the schedule down the stretch here. It's going to be tough for us, so we need to win everyone we can get."

San Antonio escaped a minor scare when Parker sprained his right middle finger late in the third quarter, but returned to score four points in the fourth.

"I had no feeling in my finger so I just wanted to make sure it was not broken," said Parker, who will have X-rays Thursday morning. "They don't think it's broken."

Continuing the momentum they captured late in the first half, the Spurs outscored Denver 32-21 during a third quarter in which they shot 3 for 3 from 3-point range. The Nuggets failed to score any fast-break points in the third and were 9 for 23 in the quarter.

"It was a great test for our defense and for our offense when you play a team like that," Parker said. "They pack it in the paint really good. They stopped my penetrations, Manu's penetrations. So we had to make shots and trust each other. It was a great playoff intensity."

NOTES: It was Duncan's fifth game of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks this season. .... The Spurs are 64-19 all-time at home against the Nuggets. ... The Spurs' Australian contingent — G Patty Mills and C Aron Baynes — were both on the inactive list. ... Nuggets G Julyan Stone (knee) sat out with an injury. Stone has been inactive 61 times this season and had seven did not play-coach's decision. ... Parker gave Duncan an inquisitive look when the All-Star power forward opted to toss a three-quarters court pass to Leonard off a rebound rather than give it to the point. Duncan's pass sailed untouched out of bounds as Parker stared dumbfounded, before smiling and shaking his head. ... Former Spurs center David Robinson received a huge ovation when he appeared on the large television displays as the team honored those in attendance who had served in the Armed Forces.

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