Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets – Game #49

After an embarrassing loss to finish their nine-game homestand with a record of 2-7, the San Antonio Spurs (24-24) play the Denver Nuggets (32-18) tonight. It’s the Spurs first contest in what is essentially an eight-game road trip.

The Spurs and Nuggets are streaking in opposite directions. The Spurs are 2-8 in their last ten games and it’s obvious that the team is lacking energy and spirit right now.

On the other hand, the Nuggets have won six straight games. Going back even further, Denver is 15-3 in their last 18 contests.

The good news for San Antonio is that they are out on the road. On the season, the Spurs are only 12-17 at home but 12-7 on the road. In the entire NBA, only the Phoenix Suns have fewer road losses.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Dejounte Murray was a late scratch against Cleveland Cavaliers due to foot soreness. However, he has been cleared to play against the Nuggets and should be in the starting lineup.

Gorgui Dieng was able to return against the Cavs after hurting his shoulder in his Spurs debut. He’s not listed on the injury report for tonight’s game.

Three players remain out for the Spurs: Lonnie Walker IV, Trey Lyles and Keita Bates-Diop. Walker’s wrist continues to give him trouble, Lyles hurt his ankle during a practice and Bates-Diop pulled his hamstring about a month ago.

Denver Nuggets Injury Update

Jamal Murray is questionable for tonight’s game against the Spurs. Murray missed Denver’s game on Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons. If he misses the game against San Antonio, expect Monte Morris to start in his place.

Paul Millsap will sit out tonight. Millsap, 36, will rest in what is the second night of a back-to-back for the Nuggets.

Aaron Gordon Trade Paying Dividends for Nuggets

The Nuggets made a splash at the trade deadline by trading for Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic. Since the trade, the Nuggets haven’t lost a game. Since joining Denver, Gordon is averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. He has also played really good defense since arriving from the Magic.

Gordon is starting for the Nuggets and has meshed well with superstar Nikola Jokic. Speaking of Jokic, he’s having an MVP-caliber season. In 35.5 minutes per game, the 26-year-old is averaging 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists, while shooting 57.0% from the floor, 42.7% from three-point range and 86.0% from the free throw line. The only possible weakness in Jokic’s game is his defense, which his aided by the presence of Gordon.