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Leonard, Bertans lift Spurs to rout over Denver

/ 01:12 PM January 14, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is pressured by Denver Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points in his return from a three-game absence, Davis Bertans had 18 and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in a 112-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

San Antonio won its 14th straight at the AT&T Center, improving the league’s best home record to 19-2.

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The Spurs’ projected starting lineup of Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Danny Green played together for only the sixth game this season and just the second time at home.

Leonard played 28 minutes after sitting out the previous three games with a strained left shoulder.

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Green had 11 points in his return from a 10-game absence due to tightness in his left groin.

The Spurs raced to a 23-12 lead in the first quarter despite getting just one point from Leonard. San Antonio opened the game by shooting 6 for 7 on 3-pointers, including three consecutive 3s by Bertans to close that opening run.

Bertans, a second-year player included by Indiana in a trade that brought Leonard to San Antonio for George Hill, had a career-high six 3-pointers. He finished 6 for 7 on 3s.

Aldridge added 15 points.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and nine rebounds for Denver, which has lost 10 straight in San Antonio.

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Nuggets: G Gary Harris returned after missing the previous game due to what the team said were “private family matters.” Harris had 18 points in 30 minutes. . Denver’s last win in San Antonio was March 4, 2012, when Richard Jefferson played with the Spurs. Now a reserve for Denver, Jefferson had seven points as San Antonio’s starting small forward in the Nuggets’ 99-94 victory. . F Paul Millsap missed his 27th game with a sprained left wrist. . The Nuggets are 10-19 when allowing 100-plus points.

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Spurs: Manu Ginobili rocked back for a left-handed dunk in the first quarter. It was his fifth dunk this season, his most since having 10 in 2014. . The Spurs have played only two home games in January, winning both. . Bertans has had three-plus 3-pointers in 16 games, second only to Gary Neal’s 24 for the most by a Spurs player in their first two seasons.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.

Spurs: Visit Atlanta on Monday.

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TAGS: Denver Nuggets, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic, San Antonio Spurs
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