Spurs lose Tiago Splitter to calf injury but rout Nuggets, 123-93

Kawhi Leonard, Wilson Chandler
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard drives the baseline against Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler in the first half Friday night.
(Darren Abate / Associated Press)

Danny Green scored 21 points, including six-for-six shooting on three-pointers, and the San Antonio Spurs cruised to a 123-93 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Friday night after losing Tiago Splitter to a right calf injury during a strong start.

Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and Aron Baynes added 18 points in 19 minutes for San Antonio, which has won six straight.

Danilo Galinari scored 20 points to lead Denver and Jameer Nelson added 14. The Nuggets trailed by as many as 37 points despite shooting 47% from the field.

The Spurs (50-26) extended their league record of consecutive 50-win seasons to 16 straight. San Antonio moved into a tie with the Clippers for fifth in the Western Conference.


But Splitter’s calf injury could be trouble for the Spurs, who struggled without the low-post scoring and fluid passing the starting center provides. They were 14-7 when Splitter missed over a month earlier in the season because of an injured right calf. Splitter’s return to the starting lineup sparked the team’s current run of 16 wins in 19 games.

Splitter exited with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter, departing immediately for the locker room with the team’s trainer. His status was uncertain.

at Brooklyn 114, Toronto 109: Deron Williams scored a season-high 31 points, Thaddeus Young made the tiebreaking basket with 22 seconds left, and the Nets beat the Raptors for their season-high sixth straight victory. Brook Lopez added 30 points and 17 rebounds for the Nets, who have surged into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

at Memphis 100, Oklahoma City 92: Jeff Green scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 19 as the Grizzlies defeated the Thunder. Green and Gasol were among six Grizzlies finishing in double figures as Memphis won its second straight and moved into a tie with Houston for the second seed in the Western Conference and top spot in the Southwest Division.


New Orleans 101, at Sacramento 95: Eric Gordon scored 21 points, Tyreke Evans nearly had a triple-double and the Pelicans gained ground in the playoff race by outlasting the short-handed Kings. New Orleans (41-34) pulled within a half-game of Oklahoma City (42-34) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Milwaukee 110, at Boston 101: Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee’s third-quarter surge from a halftime deficit with 11 points and the Bucks hurt the Celtics’ playoff chances. Boston dropped a half-game behind idle Miami in the competition for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with six games left.

at Indiana 93, Charlotte 74: Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points off the bench to lead the Pacers to a victory over the Hornets. C.J. Watson had 13 points and four steals, and C.J. Miles added 12 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who had lost two in a row.

at Chicago 88, Detroit 82: Pau Gasol had 26 points and 10 rebounds for his 50th double-double of the season, helping the Bulls beat the Pistons. Chicago pulled ahead of Toronto for third place in the Eastern Conference after the Raptors’ loss to Brooklyn.

Orlando 97, at Minnesota 84: Nikola Vucevic scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to power the Magic to a victory over the Timberwolves.

at Washington 101, New York 87: Marcin Gortat scored 19 points, Bradley Beal added 18, and the Wizards defeated the Knicks. Otto Porter, starting his second straight game for the Wizards, scored 17.

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