The San Antonio Spurs try to force a Game 7 when they host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 PM ET
The Spurs led by five points early in the first quarter but once the Nuggets took the lead they just never looked back and they even extended their advantage to 30 points at one point before securing a 108-90 win last Tuesday. The 90 points were the lowest output of the series for the Spurs so far.
San Antonio was the best team in the NBA in 3-point efficiency (39.2 percent) but they also shot the lowest volume in the league (25.3 per game); the problem is that it hasn't translated well against Denver.
The Spurs are averaging just 18.4 3-point attempts per game in this series, the lowest of any playoff team, which fits their mold of the regular season but their shots from downtown aren't falling.
The Denver defense is to blame for San Antonio's drop in 3-point shooting. The Nuggets led the NBA in defending the arc in the regular season, allowing opponents to make just 33.9 percent of their attempts. The Spurs attempt a low volume of shots from downtown but they've dropped from 39.2 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season to just 33.7 percent in the playoffs.
To make matters worse the Spurs are also struggling to defend against the wide range of 3-point shooters that the Nuggets have. Seven players have attempted 14 3-pointers or more for the Nuggets in this series and all but one have made at least 35.7 percent of their shots, including Paul Millsap.
The Denver Nuggets are:
9-19 ATS in their last 28 games against Southwest Division opponents
3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win
4-10 ATS in their last 14 games playing with one day of rest
3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs
0-5 ATS in their last five Thursday games
The favorite is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings. If the Spurs want to push this series to a Game 7, they need to put their struggles from 3-point range behind and prevent the Nuggets from putting on a shooting clinic. Bryn Forbes, Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli and David Bertans have to shoot the lights out from beyond the arc.
NBA Pick: Spurs -150 at Jazz Sports
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