The San Antonio Spurs fell victim to the red-hot New York Knicks in the opener of their three-game homestand.
They hope Saturday's showdown with the Denver Nuggets at the AT&T Center bears different results.
San Antonio dropped a 104-100 setback to the Knicks on Thursday in what was dubbed as a statement game for the visiting team. Tony Parker's 19 points and 12 assists weren't enough to extend San Antonio's three-game winning streak, while Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan scored 16 and 14 points, respectively. Duncan also grabbed a game-best 14 rebounds.
"Tony was exhausted, we got tired, but part of it was trying to guard those guys," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili combined for 25 points off the bench.
San Antonio blew an 89-77 lead to the Knicks, whose 22-11 run to close the game kept them undefeated. New York ended a nine-game losing streak in the Alamo City.
Spurs guard Gary Neal missed the game after cutting his right index finger while lifting his luggage before Tuesday's 84-82 win against the Lakers. Leonard has quadriceps tendinitis in his left knee and will be out of action for up to two weeks. The Spurs will close out the homestand Monday versus the Clippers.
Denver, meanwhile, is riding a two-game losing streak since winning four straight and suffered a 98-93 defeat at the hands of the defending champion Miami Heat on Thursday.
Andre Miller came off the bench to lead six players in double figures with 19 points, 17 coming in the second half, while JaVale McGee added 18 points and rising star Kenneth Faried posted his fifth consecutive double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds.
The Nuggets couldn't take advantage even with Dwyane Wade (foot) sidelined.
"We have to do the dirty work a little bit more," said Denver coach George Karl, whose squad had won 10 in a row at home versus Miami and made it interesting with a 17-4 run.
Karl's club will begin a three-game road trip Saturday night against the Spurs and also have Memphis and Minnesota on the slate. Seventeen of the Nuggets' first 23 games are away from the Pepsi Center.
Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler sat with a sore left hip and is questionable for this evening. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson did not score in 36:16 of action.
Denver lost two of three meetings with San Antonio last season. The Spurs are 7-2 in the past nine matchups against the Nuggets, who ended a three-game slide in the Alamo City with a 99-94 victory on March 4. Lawson had 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in that one.