Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets use huge fourth quarter to top San Antonio Spurs

Tuesday’s fourth quarter between the Nuggets and Spurs began as a back-and-forth affair, until Will Barton flew in for a follow dunk that gave Denver a one-point lead back with 7:49 to play.

Then the Nuggets began stringing together defensive stops, which led to a slew of transition opportunities and open looks all over the floor. Their impressive close swiftly turned a tight contest into a comfortable advantage, yielding a 117-109 Denver victory over the short-handed Spurs in its last game at the Pepsi Center before the all-star break.

“It just kind of became contagious,” coach Michael Malone said. “We built up momentum with our defense, which is great to see. Really, it was just us kind of turning it up, turning up the intensity and take a lot more pride (in it).”

Boxscore

The Nuggets (31-26) have won eight of their last 11 games to move up to sixth place in the Western Conference playoff standings, holding the tiebreaker with sixth-place Portland because they currently lead the season series 2-1. Denver is a half-game up on eighth-place New Orleans, one game ahead of the ninth-place Clippers and two games in front of 10th-place Utah. The victory was also just the Nuggets’ second in their last 17 games against the Spurs (35-24).

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