Nuggets’ defensive issues continue in 127-99 loss to Spurs

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points, including 11 while sparking a third-quarter spurt, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 127-99 on Thursday night.

By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer

DENVER — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points, including 11 while sparking a third-quarter spurt, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 127-99 on Thursday night.

Kawhi Leonard added 24 points, while Tony Parker had 21 and a season-high nine assists for the Spurs, who improved to 17-3 on the road this season. Parker shot 10 of 11 from the field.

Aldridge helped San Antonio pull away in the third quarter by knocking down a flurry of mid-range jumpers and hook shots. He has reached double figures in 30 of 33 games this season.

Nikola Jokic had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which dropped its fourth straight.

San Antonio entered fresh off a 110-82 win over Toronto on Tuesday. It was a game in which the Spurs made the Raptors look “like a JV team,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “They have that kind of talent. They have that chemistry. … I just hope we rise to the challenge.”

But the Nuggets couldn’t match San Antonio’s intensity and had no answer for all of its scoring options.

Aldridge hit a 19-footer with 4:55 remaining in the first half, giving the Spurs a lead they didn’t relinquish.