SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Denver Nuggets leading scorer Gary Harris is officially listed as questionable to play Saturday against at the Spurs after missing Friday’s win over Memphis to tend to a “private family matter.”
Harris, who was back at home in Indiana on Friday, is averaging 16.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from 3-point range. That includes a blistering start to January, as he’s shooting 62.2 percent from the field (46-of-74) and averaging 22.6 points over his past five games. He also ranks eighth in the NBA with 1.9 steals per game.
Denver clearly missed Harris’ offense Friday, when the Nuggets’ shot 38.6 percent from the floor but used stingy defense to grind their way to an 87-78 victory over the Grizzlies to snap a three-game losing streak. Will Barton started in place of Harris at shooting guard, totaling 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting and adding five rebounds and three assists in a team-high 40 minutes while playing off the ball and as the backup point guard. Next, the Nuggets face a Spurs team that entered Saturday ranked second in the NBA in defensive efficiency, with 101.4 points allowed per 100 possessions.
“We missed his productivity, attacking the basket, making 3s,” coach Michael Malone said of Harris after the Memphis game, “and (him) just kind of spreading the defense out, because they have to honor him at all times.”
Denver entered Saturday in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 22-20 record.