Notebook: Spurs 108, Suns 99



Posted Jan 27, 2013 12:32 AM

By Tim Price, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tony Parker scored 31 points for San Antonio, 11 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Spurs to a 108-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at AT&T Center.

While coach Gregg Popovich (illness) and Tim Duncan (sore left knee) each missed their third-straight games, Manu Ginobili came off the bench for 20 points as the Spurs (36-11) won for the eighth-straight time and 16th in a row at home.

The Suns were led by a season-high 25 points off the bench from Michael Beasley. Jared Dudley scored 23 points off 10-for-12 shooting for Phoenix (15-29). The Suns had come into the game winning three of their last five.

QUOTABLE: "With Manu [Ginobili] having been injured, and now [Tim Duncan] is a little dinged up, it's probably given Tony [Parker] more opportunities. We're almost down to no choices, and he loves it."

-- Mike Budenholzer, the Spurs assistant who has acted in place of Popovich

THE STAT: Dudley entered the fourth quarter 9-for-10, but he played 10 minutes in the fourth and took only two shots. Meanwhile, Parker also played 10 minutes and was 5-for-7 with 11 points and five assists. In fact, during the final 9 ½ minutes of the game the Spurs outscored Phoenix 22-11 and Parker either scored or had an assist on all but one of the scoring possessions.

TURNING POINT: The Suns led 88-86 when they tried to set up a shot for Dudley. But they couldn't find a quality shot and turned the ball over on a 24-second shot clock violation. Phoenix went scoreless on the next six trips down the floor and went from leading by two to trailing by eight.

QUOTABLE II: "You can ask the other 30 teams in the NBA that same question [how to stop Parker]. I thought Goran [Dragic] did just as well. Goran attacked and fought defensively. Our guys stood toe-to-toe with a giant tonight and they still came out standing."

-- Suns coach Lindsey Hunter

HOT: Dudley and Beasley combined to shoot 21-for-28 (75 percent). But the rest of the Suns finished 20-for-53 (38 percent).

NOT: Spurs starting guard Danny Green was 0-for-5 and backup Gary Neal was 1-for-7.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Parker has scored at least 20 points in each of his last five games and eight of his last nine. During his last seven games he's averaging 23.2 points per game and 9.8 assists.

GOOD MOVE: Dudley had been having his way most of the night, hitting 10 of his first 11 shots. In the fourth quarter, the Spurs tightened the defense and assigned their best perimeter defenders -- Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson -- to defend him. The 24-second violation with just more than eighth minutes to go came when Jackson was on Dudley.

BAD MOVE: Shannon Brown was ejected from the game late in the third quarter when the officiating crew of Zach Zarba, Sean Corbin and Eric Walen called Brown for a Flagrant 2. Brown was beat on a dribble in the lane by Ginobili, and he swung his arm high from behind as Ginobili was going in for a layup.

ROOKIE WATCH: None of the rookies who suited up tonight -- Kendall Marshall and Luke Zeller for Phoenix and Nando De Colo for San Antonio -- played. It's the first time in eight games that De Colo has not participated, while Marshall has not played in the last five and Zeller has not played in the last two.

NOTABLE: The 10 shots made by Dudley tonight is one off his career best, which he has done twice before (the most recent being last month against the Knicks). ... The 11 shots made by Beasley tonight was his season-best. ... This was the first loss for Hunter in the three games since he took over for recently fired coach Alvin Gentry.

UP NEXT: For the Suns, Sunday @ Dallas, Wednesday vs. L.A. Lakers, Friday @ Golden State. For the Spurs, Wednesday vs. Charlotte, Saturday vs. Washington, Wednesday @ Minnesota.