Nuggets-Spurs Preview

Stifling defense has the San Antonio Spurs atop the Southwest Division and ranking among the best teams in the NBA. Their offense, however, is what's been the driving force behind their dominance of the Denver Nuggets.

The Spurs go for an eighth straight win over the visiting Nuggets on Wednesday night.

San Antonio (8-2) is the league's best defensive team, yielding an average of 90.6 points after tying for third at 97.0 last season.

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The Spurs allowed a season low in points Monday, beating Portland 93-80 after winning 92-83 over Philadelphia two days earlier. They limited those opponents to 40.8 percent shooting.

There is still room for improvement on the opposite end of the floor, however, with San Antonio shooting 40.8 percent in those two wins.

"We thought we were going to be a little better offensively," said Manu Ginobili, who scored 14 of his season-high 17 points in the fourth quarter Monday. "We are still not moving the ball that well and we've got to find a better equilibrium."

A matchup with Denver (6-5) could help San Antonio do just that. The Spurs are averaging 113.4 points and shooting 50.5 percent during a seven-game winning streak against the Nuggets.

They hit 55.3 percent of their field goals - 14 of 34 from 3-point range - en route to a 123-93 victory April 3, their fifth straight home win in the series.

Kawhi Leonard has totaled 45 points on 19-of-30 shooting in the past two meetings. The forward leads San Antonio with 21.6 points per game, while LaMarcus Aldridge is next at 15.2.

Aldridge will be eager to atone for his worst performance of the season after he scored six points on 2 of 8 from the field against the Trail Blazers.

He stands a good chance to improve those numbers dramatically since he's averaged 27.6 points on 49.8 percent shooting over his last nine meetings with the Nuggets.

Aldridge has totaled 71 points on 29 of 50 in the past two.

Denver is trying to conclude a three-game road trip with back-to-back wins after Tuesday's 115-98 victory over New Orleans.

It was the fourth win in five games for the Nuggets, who last won two straight on the road January 5 and 9.

They'll lean heavily on Danilo Gallinari again after he scored a season-best 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting - including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc - while adding eight rebounds and eight assists against the Pelicans.

Gallinari has scored 25 or more in three of his last four games, averaging 23.0 points and connecting on 49.1 percent from the floor.

"I was just trying to play aggressive," Gallinari said. "I was able to hit from outside and go inside in the post, but first thing, the credit goes to my teammates, because they were always finding me at the right time at the right place."

He led the Nuggets with 20 points in the most recent visit to San Antonio, while Kenneth Faried had 10 after totaling 46 over the two previous matchups.

Gallinari has received ample help lately from reserve guard Will Barton, who has averaged 20.7 points off the bench the last three contests. He's shot 54.8 percent overall and is 10 of 15 from 3-point range during that span.