Spurs 104, Suns 101: Who shined and who didn’t?

    San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) drives to the basket past Phoenix Suns' Tyler Ulis during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

    The San Antonio Spurs won their fourth straight game of the season as they outlasted the Phoenix Suns 104-101 to start their three game road-trip.

    San Antonio had control of the game most of the game before Phoenix went on a 28-9 run late in the second half and took their first lead of the game with less than 2:00 minutes left in the final quarter.

    However, San Antonio would end up picking up the win thanks to a timely 3-point shot by Bryan Forbes and clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch.

    Let’s see who whined and who didn’t in the Spurs’ win.

    Patty Mills

    Patty set a season-high against the Phoenix Suns going for 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

    On Friday night versus Boston, Patty was 2-of-6 from the floor and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc. Having a comeback game like this to get him out of his shooting slump was key. Also, no Tony Parker meant that he was going to get more time on the floor with the ball in his hands.

    He did make plays happen and down the stretch, did seem to rush at times and made some bad decisions but that all was wiped away when he found Forbes for the go ahead bucket.

    It was good to see Patty get his legs under him and feel more comfortable shooting the ball.

    San Antonio's Second Half

    After holding the Suns to just 39 points in the first half, the Spurs' defense was not on display in the second. San Antonio gave up 62 points in the second half which helped the Suns erase a 19-point deficit.

    The Spurs' defense vanished as they allowed Phoenix to go on a 23-9 run in the second half, they turned the ball over nine times leading to 12 Suns' points and letting the Suns get to the free-throw line 22 times.

    Twitter: @MichaelRehome

    Depleted Spurs beat Suns for 8th win in 9 games

    By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer

    PHOENIX (AP) — San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich says Bryn Forbes has "never seen a shot he didn't like."

    There was one in particular that both of them must have loved Saturday night.

    Forbes sank his only 3-pointer of the night with 21.5 seconds to play and the severely depleted Spurs held off a fourth-quarter Phoenix rally to beat the Suns 104-101.

    "It was our fifth game in seven nights, on the road, had a back-to-back to end it all," Popovich said. "I thought we were pretty tired, but I thought they hung in as well as they could."

    The Spurs left Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili home to rest after a victory over Boston on Friday night and had Danny Green (left groin tightness) and Kyle Anderson (left MCL sprain) out with injuries.

    Still, they led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Suns came back to take their first lead of the night, 100-99, on Marquese Chriss' breakaway dunk with 1:32 to go after a San Antonio turnover.

    Josh Jackson made one of two free throws to boost the Phoenix lead to 101-99 with 29 seconds remaining before Patty Mills got the ball to Forbes, who made his lone 3 in six tries.

    "I think every shot is going in," Forbes said. "He (LaMarcus Aldridge) set a great screen and got me wide open. I couldn't have asked for a better screen. Patty put it right in my shot pocket. That is what he told me to say. He made a great pass."

    Phoenix's Mike James scored 25 points, one shy of his career high, but missed a 3-pointer, the Spurs got the rebound and Mills sank two free throws with 1.6 seconds to play.

    Jared Dudley's 3 from the corner went off the side of the backboard at the buzzer.

    Mills and Aldridge scored 20 apiece for San Antonio in its fourth straight win and eighth in nine games. T.J. Warren scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half for the Suns, who fell to 0-2 since losing Devin Booker to a left adductor strain that is expected to sideline him two to three weeks.

    "Took us 24 minutes to find a group that would play with the right energy," Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano said. "I mean, we just seemed to be a step slow. You know, I was mixing guys in and out trying to look for offense, defense, anything that would give us some juice and finally got it in the second half."

    San Antonio led by as many as 15 in the first half and 19 in the third quarter before a 12-2 Suns surge to cut the Spurs' lead to 71-69 on Troy Daniels' 3-pointer from the corner with 53 seconds left in the period. But Mills made two 3s in the final 10 seconds of the quarter and San Antonio led 79-71 entering the fourth.

    Warren rattled in a 3 to punctuate another 12-2 surge that made it tied it 94-94 for the first time since it was 2-2.

    Aldridge said it was good to have to "learn how to execute down the stretch with different guys."

    "A lot of these guys haven't been in that type of moment, haven't been in the game down the stretch," he said. "We had some mistakes but just helping these guys get better and having them be in those types of moments is something that is going to make us better down the stretch."


    Spurs: Dejounte Murray tied his career high with 14 rebounds. ... Brandon Paul and Forbes each got his second start of the season, Rudy Gay his fourth. ... Gasol missed his first game of the season after starting the first 26. ... San Antonio had an 18-10 advantage in offensive rebounds.

    Suns: Phoenix starters scored four points in first quarter on 1-for-7 shooting. ... Suns have lost 11 of last 12 against the Spurs. Their lone win in that span came last season in Mexico City.


    Spurs: Kawhi Leonard could make his season debut at Dallas on Tuesday night.

    Suns: At Sacramento on Tuesday night.

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