Nuggets set NBA record with 3-point first

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- This is one game the Denver Nuggets would

like to forget.


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Stephen Jackson scored 22 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs

to an easy 99-68 victory Wednesday night over the Nuggets, who set

an NBA record by scoring just three points in the first quarter.

"It was crazy. It was a brutal first quarter,'' Denver's Juwan

Howard said. "We couldn't score, we couldn't hit shots. We turned

the ball over and we didn't do anything to help ourselves. Before

the game, we repeatedly said let's start out fresh. Obviously, it

didn't happen. You know, we just got blown out.''

Denver missed 14 consecutive shots after taking a 2-0 lead and

trailed 21-3 after one period. The three points broke the previous

first-quarter record of four scored by Sacramento on Feb. 4, 1987,

against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Not much you can say,'' Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We

didn't make a lot of shots down the stretch and they really played

great defensively. We just couldn't rebound from that intensity.''

The three points also tied the mark for the second-lowest

quarter in NBA history.

"For someone to score three points in a quarter you have to

play good defense, but undoubtedly they had to shoot poorly,'' San

Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Scoring three points in a

quarter isn't going to happen often.''

Tim Duncan scored 20 points and had 14 rebounds for San Antonio,

which snapped a two-game losing streak. Tony Parker added 13, and

Steve Smith 12.

Chris Andersen scored 12 points, and Nene Hilario 10 for Denver,

which beat San Antonio the previous night in Colorado but had a

three-game winning streak snapped.

After jumping out to its large first-quarter lead, San Antonio

coasted to a 46-22 halftime advantage as Duncan had 14 points and

10 rebounds in the first quarter.

After shooting 1-for-16 in the first, the Nuggets hit only nine

of 38 first-half shots and tied a franchise record for fewest

points in a half with 22.

"I've never seen anything like it before, it wasn't pretty,''

said 14-year NBA veteran David Robinson. "And defensively, that

wasn't even our best basketball but it was much better than last


San Antonio went on a 13-0 third-quarter run to increase the

lead to 66-30 with 5:11 to play in the period on a jumper by


The Spurs outscored Denver 27-18 in the third quarter and led

73-40 going to the fourth. Denver could get no closer than 26 in

the fourth.

"It was a great effort out of the gates, certainly after last

night,'' Duncan said. "Defensively, everything was near perfect.

Practice this morning certainly helped in that effort. It got the

bad vibe out of us.''

Game notes
The Los Angeles Clippers also scored three points in the

second quarter against the Lakers on Dec. 14, 1999. The record is

two points scored by Dallas in the third quarter of a game on April

6, 1997, vs. the Lakers. ... The 22 points allowed in the first

half was also a San Antonio team record. ... San Antonio evened the

season series after losing to the Nuggets the previous night in

Denver 85-81. ... The Spurs are 18-4 against the Nuggets since Tim

Duncan joined the team. ... San Antonio improved to 7-2 this season

in the new SBC Center. ... In 16 games, San Antonio has allowed

only one team -- Portland on Nov. 9 -- to shoot better than 50

percent from the field. Denver shot 35.5 percent from the floor on

Wednesday. ... Duncan's double-double was his ninth of the season

and 296th of his career.