SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets set an NBA record for futility in the first quarter, then had their three-game winning streak come to a gruesome end with a 99-68 loss to the revenge-minded San Antonio Spurs.
Denver scored just three points in the first quarter, the fewest for an opening period in the shot-clock era. Only the Dallas Mavericks' two-point third quarter in 1997 kept the Nuggets from posting the worst quarter in league history.
"I've had more fun getting my teeth pulled," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "I told the team that we had to expect an onslaught of tough defensive pressure and intense offensive execution from the Spurs. We worked on it. We expected it. And we could do nothing about it."
Kenny Satterfield gave Denver a 2-0 lead with a jump shot before San Antonio went on a 21-1 run for the rest of the quarter. Donnell Harvey had the other point for the Nuggets, who shot 1-of-16 in the period with eight turnovers.
"That was a brutal quarter for this team," said Juwan Howard, who went scoreless in 28 minutes after scoring 23 in Denver's victory over San Antonio on Tuesday. "We couldn't score any baskets."
The previous lowest first quarter was four by Sacramento against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 4, 1987.
The Spurs set a team record by holding the Nuggets to 22 points in the first half, a figure that tied Denver's franchise record low.
"I've never seen anything like it before," Spurs center David Robinson said. "It wasn't pretty."
Tim Duncan finished with 20 points, including seven in the first quarter. Stephen Jackson led San Antonio with 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, when all of the starters had left the game.
"It was a great effort out of the gates," Duncan said. "Certainly after last night. Defensively, everything was nearly perfect. Practice this morning certainly helped in that effort. It got the bad vibe out of us."
The Nuggets are averaging 76.5 points per game this season, putting them on track to break the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls' record low of 81.9. Denver has reached the 80-point plateau in just five of 15 games.
Chris Andersen, who went to high school 200 miles away in Iola, Texas, led the Nuggets with 12 points. Rookie Nene Hilario had 10 points for Denver, which had won three straight games in the final seconds.