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NBA Spurs even playoff series



Published: Thu, April 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



San Antonio jumped out quickly on Denver and won easily 104-76.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets expected San Antonio to come out hard and fast in Game 2, and the Spurs didn't disappoint them.

But what did disappoint the Nuggets on Wednesday was the way they reacted.

The Spurs made nine of their first 10 shots and then outscored Denver by 20 points in the second quarter en route to a 104-76 win that evened their first-round playoff series at one win each.

"Any loss like that is embarrassing," said Denver's Carmelo Anthony, whose team shot just 36 percent. "After the first game we expected someone to get better. They were the team that got better."

Game 3 set Saturday

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series will be played Saturday night in Denver, with Game 4 scheduled for Monday.

San Antonio, which lost the opener Sunday after missing 17 straight shots down the stretch, went back to basics on offense -- that is, they got the ball to Tim Duncan.

On his first touch, Duncan drove on Kenyon Martin and hit a short bank shot. On the next possession, he backed down Marcus Camby in the post and flipped in a jump hook.

"We had great energy in that first half, great focus coming out of the gate," Duncan said. "Everyone came out focused and knew the game plan. When we do that, we are tough to beat."

Establishing Duncan early created shots on the perimeter, and the Spurs made them. They hit their first four 3-pointers, two by Brent Barry, and they owned an 11-point lead less than eight minutes into the game.

Camby said the Nuggets couldn't stop the Spurs or get anything going themselves. "The whole game was terrible," he said. "They got everything they wanted. It made for a long, tough night."

Tony Parker scored 12 points in the first period, matching his total for all of Game 1. He finished with 19 points.

"I knew my offense would come," said Parker, who was more concerned about stepping up his defense on Andre Miller (31 points in Game 1).

Leading the way

Duncan had 24 points, while Manu Ginobili added 17 points in 18 minutes. Barry, who started in Ginobili's place, made all four of his 3-pointers for 16 points.

DerMarr Johnson led Denver with 12 points. Miller added 11 and Anthony 10, while Camby had 12 rebounds.

The Nuggets made three of their first four shots, then missed nine of their next 10 before a driving layup by Miller made it 23-12.

Wesley Person hit a corner 3-pointer early in the second quarter to trim San Antonio's lead to 29-21, but the Nuggets followed with another dry spell while the Spurs piled up points.

A 10-foot jump hook by Duncan restored the Spurs' double-digit lead with about 11 minutes left in the half. Less than four minutes later, a short runner by Parker made it 46-25. Parker later dished to Duncan for a dunk that extended San Antonio's lead to 30 points with 2:27 remaining.




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