The Spurs, missing LaMarcus Aldridge, depended on a throwback game from Tony Parker and solid contributions from Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to put the Phoenix Suns away comfortably. The Suns were missing Eric Bledsoe and were on the second night of a back-to back, but they kept the contest close for much of the game until Tony put it away in the fourth. In a promising development for Spurs fans, Danny Green had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points.
The first quarter started with pretty lackadaisical play by both teams but Kawhi was a key contributor for the good guys, scoring 11 points in the quarter. Markieff Morris gave the Spurs a lot of trouble with his energy and length. Boban Marjanovic came in with 2:56 left in the quarter, the earliest he has entered a game for the Spurs. Boban is so huge, he committed a pretty average foul of P.J. Tucker, but since Tucker went flying from the impact, the refs decided to check the replay for a flagrant. It was just a common foul, but his size made the impact look a lot worst than it was. The good guys ended up the quarter up 20-17, they shot well, but turnovers limited their opportunities to make baskets.
A minute into the second, Manu drew two defenders and fed the ball to a diving Boban for a wide open two. After that play, Boban sat, Manu hit an open three, and some nice ball movement from Boris to West to Danny Green got Danny a wide open look from beyond the arc, which went through the hoop and barely touched the net. For a moment, at least, the ice seemed to be coming off of Danny's shot. Jonathan Simmons got in the game with 5:15 in the quarter, and got to the basket on a sweet spin move with 3:15 left. John Leuer got in the game for the Suns and used his length and shooting touch to keep the Suns close, but at the half, the Spurs held a ten point lead, 44-34.
Markieff Morris, fresh from successful separation surgery from his twin brother Marcus, had a terrific third quarter for the Suns, but the rest of the team kept turning the ball over which led to a 12-0 run for the good guys in the middle of the quarter, led by some classic Tony Parker drives to the basket. With an 18 point lead for the good guys, it looked like it was going to be an uneventful exercise in coasting for the Spurs, but they started to get complacent, and you know what happens when the Spurs do that. The Suns went off on a run led by Morris topped off by a nice iso play where Morris backed Kawhi Leonard to the basket and used his length to get off a shot. Kyle Anderson came into the game with 2 minutes left in the quarter and had an instant impact, stealing the ball from Brandon Knight and taking it to the basket. The score at the end of the third was 67-60 in favor of the silver and black.
The Spurs looked a little sharper to start the fourth and surged to an 11 point lead behind plays from Ginobili and Parker. The Suns were able to put up resistance for much of the fourth, but Parker played his best fourth quarter of the season, scoring 12 points in the quarter. As well as the Spurs played, there were still plenty of lapses that will provide fodder for upcoming film sessions with Coach Pop. The Spurs allowed the Suns to get to the basket too easily, and on a weird jump ball play between Tim and Markieff, where the ball ended up on the referee's back, the Suns were able to poke the ball free which led to a clear path foul on Tim. But it didn't end up hurting the Spurs and they were able to close out the game with enough stops and timely scoring from Tony and Danny.
Bonus Musical Content:
Happy belated 50th birthday, Bjork--this song is adapted from a poem by e e cummings.
For the Suns' perspective, visit Bright Side Of The Sun. The next game for the Spurs is against Dallas in the AT&T Center on Wednesday at 7:30 PM CT, in a pre-Thanksgiving game that definitely won't be a Turkey. See you then!