National Basketball Association
Preview
Denver at San Antonio
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, March 6, 2015
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

The Denver Nuggets have looked like a completely different team since showing head coach Brian Shaw the door. The Nuggets will try to improve to 3-0 under interim coach Melvin Hunt when they visit the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday. The Spurs are in the process of turning things around as well and have won three straight since stumbling to four losses in a row during the rodeo road trip.

Denver is trying to get back to being the team that finished third in the Western Conference two seasons ago and Hunt is beginning that process by opening up the offense and making better use of the athleticism advantage Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson have over most other players at their positions. “Mel wants us to run more, that's the main thing," Lawson told the Denver Post. "Just run, run, run." San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich wants his team to move the ball more on offense, and the players responded in their first game back home on Wednesday with a 112-85 win over Sacramento.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), KENS (San Antonio)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (22-39):
Faried saw his numbers decline steadily in the last two months under Shaw but has posted 32 points and 28 rebounds in the two games under Hunt, who spent five seasons as an assistant. "I think just coach (Hunt) knows us," Faried told reporters. "He's been around us a lot longer than coach Shaw. ... And (assistant coach Patrick) Mutombo was here (since 2011). They just know our game and how we play off each other." Hunt still needs to figure out how to get some points out of Lawson, who handed out nine assists at Minnesota on Wednesday but went scoreless on 0-of-9 shooting.

ABOUT THE SPURS (37-23): San Antonio won the final two games of its annual road trip to post a 4-5 record and had three full days off to rest before pounding the Kings on Wednesday. Tony Parker was among several players that seemed to benefit from the time off and scored 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting after averaging 6.8 points on 13-of-50 shooting in the previous five contests. The Spurs are also getting a boost from Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 20 points while only turning the ball over once in the last three games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Spurs have taken five straight in the series by an average of 12.4 points.

2. Denver C Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) has missed the last four games and is not expected to play on Friday.

3. San Antonio G Manu Ginobili hit two 3-pointers on Wednesday, matching his total from the previous five games.

PREDICTION: Spurs 109, Nuggets 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Denver 22-39 W2 13-18 9-21 0-5 22-34 5-8 14-22
San Antonio 37-23 W3 21-7 16-16 1-1 36-22 4-6 21-18
Last Meeting
Denver San Antonio
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/20/15 SA 109 DEN 99 99 42 46.8 109 44 45.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver K. Faried 26 52.9 8
San Antonio T. Parker 18 50.0 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver K. Faried 14 5 9
San Antonio K. Leonard 15 3 12
Assists Player  
Denver T. Lawson 8
San Antonio M. Ginobili 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver T. Lawson 971 44.1 234
San Antonio T. Duncan 817 49.5 172
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver K. Faried 516 175 341
San Antonio T. Duncan 553 139 414
Assists Player  
Denver T. Lawson 606
San Antonio M. Ginobili 257
Quickchart Matchup
Denver Off vs  San Antonio Defense
99.5 Points For
96.9 Points Against
42.7 FG%
44.2 FG%
44.8 Reb
42.8 Reb
San Antonio Off vs  Denver Defense
100.8 Points For
103.7 Points Against
45.5 FG%
45.3 FG%
42.8 Reb
45.4 Reb