San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs outlast Suns’ late run, 104-101: Recap, highlights and more

By Rob Wolkenbrod
PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 9: Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw against the Phoenix Suns on December 9, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 9: Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw against the Phoenix Suns on December 9, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs went head-to-head with the Phoenix Suns.

On Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs battled the Phoenix Suns in the first of a three-game road trip. After narrowly defeating the Boston Celtics, there was a short turnaround for this team, playing less than 24 hours later. Would it impact the result?

Aside from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs dished out a starting lineup that wasn’t exactly normal. On a Saturday night, against one of the NBA’s worst teams, record-wise, head coach Gregg Popovich sat Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, while Danny Green didn’t play due to injury. So, Rudy Gay, Dejounte Murray, Brandon Paul and Bryn Forbes entered the lineup.

It won’t say much that the Suns didn’t put up a great fight. Aside from their record, they sport one of the league’s youngest teams, with players like Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis starting. They didn’t make a dent in the first half, with the B-level Spurs taking advantage. That included Murray’s 10 rebounds.

Phoenix closed in during the third quarter, cutting the deficit from 13 to 7 points. Play from Mike James and TJ Warren brought them closer. Would the fourth quarter continue this?

DEJOUNTE GOES COAST TO COAST! pic.twitter.com/x34Q6nOVzv

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 10, 2017

The Spurs couldn’t blow the game open, as the scoring stayed tight for most of the final period. Baskets by Forbes and Gay kept the lead apart while a player, like Greg Monroe, was all over the court.

With just four minutes left, the Suns made it a 3-point game. Even with the best possible lineup of Aldridge, Gay, Mills, Paul and Murray, it was closer than expected. A Warren 3-pointer followed this, tying the game at 94.

With just 29 seconds left, the Suns went up 101-99, but a clutch 3-pointer from Forbes put the Spurs ahead and won, 104-101. It marked the second straight night a Silver and Black player hit a game-winning shot, leading to the team’s victory.

Aldridge and Mills led the way, with 20 points a piece. It was followed by Gay’s 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Murray finished with 8 points and 14 rebounds. Solid numbers that spread the wealth on the B squad.

New season high for Patty with 20! pic.twitter.com/JkWrIwXsO3

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 10, 2017

At 19-8, the Spurs still have the third-best mark in the Western Conference. All of it happened without Leonard, who could come back on Tuesday. So, the team remains in a terrific position, if this was their game without the Klaw.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

The Spurs will receive two days off, before taking the court on Dec. 12. It’s a road game vs. the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Game time 8:30 p.m. ET on FSSW. This could be a landmark night for San Antonio, as they potentially get their All-Star back and aim to move into the top two of the standings.

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