Any fears of a repeat of Wednesday, when the Nuggets erased almost all of the Spurs’ 24-point lead in the second half, were allayed early and emphatically Friday at the Pepsi Center. Sparked by Marco Belinelli, the Spurs led by 10 early in the second quarter and kept building…and building, and building. When the dust settled on their 16th straight victory, 133-102, they had a season-high for points to go with 37 assists. Probably even more important to head coach Gregg Popovich, no Spur was forced to play more than 30 minutes entering Saturday’s home game against New Orleans.

Player of the game

With his deft shooting touch and high basketball IQ, Belinelli has long since proven to be an ideal fit in the Spurs’ equal-opportunity offense. He showed why once again against the Nuggets, hitting six 3-pointers in the first half — one fewer than his career-best– en route to a game-high 27 points. Four came during the final minutes of the first quarter (see below), and he added two more before the break as the Spurs led by 19. His final bucket came on a beautiful give-and-go with Boris Diaw, perhaps the signature play on a night the Spurs executed so well.