GAMEDAY AT A GLANCE
Spurs (35-23) vs. Denver Nuggets (30-26)
When, where: Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., Denver
Season series: Spurs lead 2-0
Last meeting: Spurs 106, Nuggets 104, Jan. 30, AT&T Center
Spurs’ last game: Lost to Jazz 101-99, Monday, Salt Lake City, Utah
Nuggets’ last game: Beat Suns 123-113, Saturday, Phoenix
Spurs’ last 10 games, streak: 5-5, lost two
Nuggets’ last 10 games, streak: 7-3, won one
Spurs’ injury report: Manu Ginobili (rest) and Dejounte Murray (sprained left ankle) are probable for Tuesday’s game. LaMarcus Aldridge (sore right knee), Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis) and Kawhi Leonard (rehabbing quad injury) are out.
Notable: Pau Gasol has more double-doubles this season (12) than he had all of last season (11). Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds in the Spurs’ two-point road loss to Utah on Monday.
The grind of the NBA season is not for the faint of heart.
A grueling 82-game schedule is tough under any conditions, but factoring in a spate of injuries like the one the Spurs have had to contend with since the preseason would test the mettle of any team.
Halfway through their annual Rodeo Road Trip, the Silver and Black face the challenge of bouncing back against a rested Denver team after a gut-wrenching 101-99 loss in Utah on Monday night. Worse, the Spurs will play their second straight game without forward LaMarcus Aldridge, out with a sore right knee.
The Spurs announced Monday that Aldridge, their top scorer and rebounder, would be shut down until after the All-Star break. Aldridge, expected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, has been the Silver and Black's leading scorer in 41 of their 58 games, more than any other player in the league.
Forwards Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay, both rehabbing lingering injuries, also will miss Tuesday night's game. Leonard has played in only nine games this season while he battles tendinopathy in his right quadriceps, and Gay has missed the team's last 22 games with bursitis in his right heel.
Manu Ginobili (rest) and Dejounte Murray (sprained right ankle) played Monday night and are listed as probable for Tuesday's game in Denver.
The Nuggets haven't played since defeating the Suns 123-113 in Phoenix on Saturday. San Antonio leads the season series with Denver 2-0, beating the Nuggets 106-104 on Jan. 30 and 112-80 on Jan. 13. Both games were played at the AT&T Center.
Tuesday night's game will be the Spurs' last before the All-Star break. San Antonio won't play until it meets the Nuggets in Denver again on Friday, Feb. 23.
Despite being short-handed, the Spurs appeared poised to beat the Jazz for the first time in three meetings this season before sputtering down the stretch.
San Antonio took an 83-70 lead on a jumper by Bryn Forbes with 9:29 left, but the Jazz hung tough and tied the score at 87 on three-pointers by Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell with 4:53 remaining. Mitchell nailed a jumper to put Utah ahead to stay with 39.2 seconds remaining.
The Spurs had one final possession with 16.7 seconds left, but Kyle Anderson lost the ball near the sideline before tapping it to Ginobili, who was only a few feet away. Ginobili's desperation shot bounced off the rim, sealing Utah's 10th consecutive victory.
"We were in the lead for most of the second half,'' Spurs center Pau Gasol said. ''We just couldn't finish it. We had some bad possessions offensively that led to opportunities for them."
Anderson led the Spurs with 16 points and Gasol had his 12th double-double of the season, finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Spurs already have more losses (23) than they did each of the past two seasons. They finished a franchise-best 67-15 in 2015-16 and 61-21 last season. San Antonio hasn't lost 23 games this early in the season since Feb. 21, 2010, when a 109-101 overtime defeat at Detroit dropped the Silver and Black to 31-23.
The 2009-10 Spurs went on to finish 50-32. They beat Dallas in the first round of the playoffs before getting swept by Phoenix in the conference semifinals.
Up next for the Spurs after Tuesday's game: at Denver, Friday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.
Next Spurs home game: vs. Pelicans, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.